(PUEBLO, Colo.) —  Xcel Energy – Colorado customers will see lower natural gas bills than previously expected from Feb. 1 through March 31.

The lower bills come as the result of a recent decrease in wholesale natural gas prices, according to Xcel Energy. The company submitted an interim fuel price adjustment in January to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission to reflect a drop in the commodity price of natural gas effective Feb. 1.

Xcel Energy filed a similar downward adjustment in November, which impacted December bills.

The change means residential natural gas customers will pay an average of $17.79 less in February than they would under the company’s currently effective natural gas costs previously approved by the Commission, which took effect in January. Small business customers will pay an average of $83.14 less in February.

According to Xcel, customers pay the actual commodity cost of natural gas through their bills—Xcel passes those costs along to customers without markup. Other than interim adjustments, commodity adjustments are submitted to the Commission every three months; the adjustment for the second quarter of 2023 will be filed mid-March.

A breakdown of the natural gas price changes comparing the current approved rates to the February 2023 proposed rates is below.

GCA  Q1 ‘23 February Interim ’23   
 Average Therm Commodity  Commodity  Bill $Bill %
 Usage PriceBill PriceBill ChangeChange
Residential95.9 $0.7931$126.59 $0.6076$108.80 -$17.79-14.05%
Small Business448.4 $0.7870$549.30 $0.6016$466.16 -$83.14-15.14%

Xcel said even with the drop in natural gas prices, the cost of natural gas remains higher than it has been in recent years, so the company encourages customers to take advantage of the range of energy efficiency programs and saving tips the company offers to help customers manage their energy use and keep their bills as low as possible.

The company also encourages customers to reach out if they’re having trouble paying their bills, so they can be connected to programs or resources that may be able to help.