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November 3, 2020

Coronavirus company news summary – US extends energy bills assistance – Xcel Energy considers rates increase

By Matt Farmer

Power demand in Italy recovered marginally during Q3, to be on par with 2019 levels. In previous quarters, consumption was reduced by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the recovery is likely to be jeopardised by a second wave of Covid-19 cases leading to reimposition of lockdown restrictions. Power demand reached 251TWh in the first nine months of 2020, despite seeing a slump in the second quarter.

The US’ Covid-19 Utility Grant Program, launched to provide financial relief from power bills to customers affected by the pandemic, has brought low-income citizens of Los Angeles under its purview. The City Council of L.A. agreed to place $50m in federal Covid-19 relief funds to assist people with their bills last week.

Utility company Xcel Energy’s customers in Minnesota, US, could see their electricity bills increase as the company contemplates increasing its electricity rate by $597m. This would represent a 20% increase over the next three years. The company has not yet decided on the action. It also put forward a proposal to extend its current rate plan for another year, as its Covid-19 investment proposal worth $2.5bn is still under the Minnesota regulatory process.

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