Xcel Energy

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Xcel Energy Reviews

Updated Jul 15, 2014

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All Employees Current Employees Only

3.3 107 reviews

67% Approve of the CEO

Xcel Energy Chairman, President & CEO Benjamin G.S. Fowke III

Benjamin G.S. Fowke III

(46 ratings)

69% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Xcel Energy offers good pay, and a good benefits package including tuition reimbursement(in 15 reviews)

  • The pay and benefits are satisfactory to a point(in 8 reviews)


Cons
  • Somewhat resistant and slow to change(in 3 reviews)

  • Work life balance suffers for some jobs (leadership, engineering,(in 3 reviews)

34 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    • Culture & Values
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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Mechanical Engineer Intern for Capital Projects

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsDynamic Environment, good pay and benefits

    ConsNot Very challenging. Given a lot of responsibility with no power.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Overall neutral. Nothing great; yet nothing bad.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    Prosbenefits work/life balance stability time-off policies company values

    Conslower pay training personal growth office culture

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

     

    Xcel Energy

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsI have money coming in.

    ConsKeep contract workers to long without hiring them

    Advice to Senior ManagementIf you have good workers you should hire hem.

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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
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    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    Heck (I can't say the real word -- h*ll) on contractors; take out a good insurance policy before you go to work

    Engineer (Former Employee) Denver, CO

    ProsNice people, generally lots of interesting work opportunities. Have lots of things they could do a whole lot better if they were motivated to do them. They have a pretty good environmental footprint, for their situation. When they want to do things, they will support them. Once a decision at the top level is made, they follow through.

    ConsThey don't do change well -- in fact they don't do it at all. Glacially stultifying environment for people who like to do things --like professionals and engineers. They're obsessed with all the current vogue stuff -- pluralism, political correctness to the max, doing the "right thing" as their management sees it. They're terrified of negative press, in fact, any press at all. There's a lot of internal cronyism and lack of competence among top managers. They have a tendency to react after the horses are out of the barn. "Shoot the messenger" is alive and well at Xcel, and always has been a long time. The managers can't openly say anything but the party line without risking their positions. The union, the IBEW, is actually quite good. I was never a member but respected the guys who were. They more or less professionals, which is not what you might expect. The union has looked out for their members' interests well over the years. Having said all the negatives, there are still some great managers at Xcel. You only wish a company like them could somehow grow beyond their good ole' boy utility pants. If they did, it could be a super neat place to work.
    For contractors, they're tough. They don't use effective project management, and they expect miracles with no money. Their managers inevitably change the scope of projects as they go along. It's hard to imagine a worse company for contractors to work for. A word to the wise is dont do any work for Xcel without a prepaid deal, because they will make verbal agreements and stick it to them, without ever questioning the ethics of what they do. There's a reason why events like Sherco and Cabin Creek occurred (five dead $30 million south) -- Xcel's project management practices and tendency to blame contractors for everything they (Xcel) didn't do. They low-ball bids like Cabin Creek and wonder when things go wrong. Same thing happened at Sherco ($250 million south, in litigation with GE). Not all utilities are that way (blameblameblame), although others who do contract work are more sensitive to contractor issues.

    Advice to Senior ManagementIt would be amazing to put a thinker like Steve Jobs down in the middle of Xcel Energy. It's not going to happen though, because Xcel has one customer -- the Public Utility Commission (PUC). Ultimately everything Xcel does or doesn't do depends on their rate case and how they feel the PUC will view it (that is, what they Xcel do). Xcel is thus enslaved to the opinions and current trends at their PUCs (Colorado, Minnesota and Texas). Unless the way the PUCs operate changes, Xcel will never change either -- for better or worse. In many instances this means that Xcel's ratepayers will pay a lot more because of their opinions, habits and prejudices at the PUCs -- Xcel only reflects those. Oh well, it could be a lot worse... The city of Boulder is trying to take out Xcel in Boulder County, and if they do, rates there can only get worse.
    On the other hand, I don't give Boulder a rat's bass of a chance, because Xcel's too tight with the Colorado PUC. It would be interesting to imagine a more supportive environment for change at Xcel in the PUCs. Unless something new develops, though, it's not gonna happen.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • Approves of CEO

     

    OK place to work. there are worse options.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Denver, CO

    ProsStability or rather job security. Senior management has a vision of where to take the company. Getting our business to operate like a competitive business is where it's at. Great call.

    ConsDifficult to get promoted if you didn't "grow up" at Xcel. Lots of nepotism. it's not what you know but who you know. Too many unqualified people in leadership positions.

    Advice to Senior ManagementBring in more talented people from outside the organization. They will have a better sense of urgency and not be discouraged by past mistakes. Health care options could be stronger.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Everything you would expect from working at a utility

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Denver, CO

    ProsSolid, stable, predictable. Most folks seem to do only 9-5 so there's plenty of time for work-life balance. Good people, passionate about what they do. Occasionally innovative.

    ConsThe culture is slow as molassess. Partly a result of the industry, but partly due to an aversion to take risks on anything. Lack of a competitive market leads competitive people to play internal political games with no real end. Seriously weak IT systems. Rampant use of antiquated technology. E.G. Windows NT.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTake a chance on something. Anything. Stop passing the buck. Start encouraging mistakes.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    1 person found this helpful  

    Promotions very difficult to attain

    Administrative Assistant (Former Employee)

    ProsThe pay and benefits are satisfactory to a point.

    ConsGetting a much-deserved promotion is almost impossible. If you have a manager who is not willing to spend the time to get through all the red tape of a business case, then you don't stand a chance of getting a promotion. How can Xcel be an employer of choice if going above and beyond time after time gets you nowhere.

    Advice to Senior ManagementEmployees seeking a promotion should be actively involved in the business case since there are weak managers who don't fight for their employees. And because the manager may not even know half of what their employee does. Also, taking months in the process is unacceptable and inefficient. Xcel has lost good, even outstanding employees because of the current policy.

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Nuclear trying to recover, facing tough rate case

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsGood people (workers), a lot of new people (workers and management), know they need to recover

    ConsSome management left over from NMC days, resistance to the improvements the new people are bringing - not consciously, sub-consciously

    Advice to Senior ManagementTrying to be frugal now (right in the middle of recovering the nuclear plants) would be big mistatke. Follow through on what you started for another year or so.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    As with all companies - some good, some bad

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsGood pay, great PTO, some business units are great

    ConsA number of business units haven't a clue!

    Advice to Senior ManagementThe number (and associated cost) of failed initiatives in the HR and Business Systems departments is a disgrace.

    The micro management of O&M budgets in critical departments - Distribution, Gas, Generation,(aka, the bread and butter of the company) has lead to system/physical asset issues that, if were properly maintained on schedule, not edicts from the top to "put off that overhaul, put off that replacement, etc . . . " would save money in the long haul. Preventative Maintenance is so much more cost effective than Corrective Maintenance.

    The main problems is a very aggressive share price for Wall Street. I realize that if we do not deliver great earnings, we will be downgraded, hence, monies are not available for either capital or O&M projects. Problem is, when you have a grid and assets that are older, it requires more maintenance. While I am all for renewables . . . the consumer does not want to pay for it . . . it is more expensive than natural gas and coal.

    And lastly, when part of the business makes huge mistakes, can't upper management just admit it? Don't try to sugar coat it or sweep it under the rug like it didn't happen. I would have so much more respect for our executive leadership if, after a major project/initiative failure, they would acknowledge it and then show us the lesson's learned to prevent it from happening again.

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    • Approves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Never a dull moment in nuclear

    Performance Assessment Coordinator (Current Employee) Welch, MN

    ProsNuclear is challenging but very structured if you like procedures rules etc
    Pay is relatively good compared to non nuclear but appears to be less than other utilities around the USA.

    ConsWork life balance suffers for some jobs (leadership, engineering,...)
    Not much for employee appreciation or recognition
    Human resources is slow to hire

    Advice to Senior ManagementEngage and support the lower ranks. Learn to delegate more to build trust and save yourself time. People want to take ownership but the bureaucracy and management misalignment impedes progress.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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