The Line

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Robert Kenny, Xcel Colorado president. He doesn’t even have a number to call or a customer service operator in the state.

Xcel Energy is an unusual company–large, a monopoly, and highly regulated. There aren’t many of them left these days, for-profit companies for which you don’t have any choice but to use them and pay them. When I called them they insisted on accessing my account. Then the woman spent about 5 minutes arguing about a phone number that doesn’t exist and threatening to hang up. There are not many companies that can operate this way and get away with it. Most companies have to worry about competition, and all the reasons that creates challenges.

The market is not disappearing, but for now it is certainly changing. Most people do not have a problem with reasonable conservation. Natural gas seems to be retreating. Fairly soon, in decades, you may be able to power your home through alternative means affordably.

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