Xcel Energy

  www.xcelenergy.com
  www.xcelenergy.com
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Xcel Energy Reviews

Updated August 21, 2014
Updated August 21, 2014
116 Reviews
3.3
116 Reviews
Rating Trends

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

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
  • The work life balance is good, but only if you are not concerned with your career advancement (in 4 reviews)

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

More Highlights

37 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Rubber pancakes

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Xcel Energy full-time

    Pros

    Good pay, vacation, benefits, dynamic problem solving opportunities, interesting industry undergoing big changes, a sense of importance providing an essential service.

    Cons

    Little work-life balance. Everyone in management is a marketing/communications professional so your expertise will not be needed (sarcasm). Many places too many resources, others not even close -- if you are there, expectations are the same. If you are not connected or know how to work politically to remain a 'favorite' - or do not know how to either avoid accountability or remain autonomous in a bureaucratic world - move on. Yes, it can be exhausting - and more so the more you actually care. The preordained aside, the primary focus is on talking about what you are going to do instead of actually doing it. If you do bring innovative ideas, several that even lead to company wide processes or engaging programs, and better customer and employee satisfaction, corporate rules apply - someone else gets the credit and you'll be asked sincerely, 'What have you done lately.' Not all bad to be kept on toes but short memories do not translate into recognition for your efforts here. Also, ideas brought to the table must conform to certain 'unwritten' rules. Basically, if you had a great idea to transform the industry your first thought would be to go out on your own to accomplish it (especially bittersweet in an industry desperate for good ideas and decisions.)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The exclusive shareholder focus will undo regions with a strong, postive reputation. The three legs of employees, customers and shareholders will lead to better results for shareholders.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Big, bureaucratic utility

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Project Manager  in  Amarillo, TX
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Amarillo, TX

    I have been working at Xcel Energy full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Good pay and fringe benefits

    Cons

    Incoherent strategy, poor employee communications, lots of negative leadership.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    OK company, headed the wrong way

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Engineer
    Current Employee - Engineer

    I have been working at Xcel Energy full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    People, safety ethics, long term stability, and benefits.

    Cons

    HR tends to hold up promotions as much as they can. They do not let the company promote from within unless they are overqualified for the position.

    The general direction of the company now seems to be focused on management and financial, whereas previously it seemed to be operations, maintenance, and engineering. I don't think this is a sustainable long term direction. Hiring contractors when the company used to do it cheaper themselves will result negative consequences.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Shed people from downtown and increase technical, operations, and maintenance staffing at service centers, power plants, distribution centers, etc. Reduce management as much as is possible, they are too expensive and do not produce anything.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Mechanical Engineer Intern for Capital Projects

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Xcel Energy

    Pros

    Dynamic Environment, good pay and benefits

    Cons

    Not Very challenging. Given a lot of responsibility with no power.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Overall neutral. Nothing great; yet nothing bad.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Xcel Energy full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

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

    Cons

    lower pay training personal growth office culture

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Xcel Energy

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Xcel Energy full-time

    Pros

    I have money coming in.

    Cons

    Keep contract workers to long without hiring them

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you have good workers you should hire hem.

  8.  

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

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Engineer  in  Denver, CO
    Former Employee - Engineer in Denver, CO

    I worked at Xcel Energy full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Nice 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.

    Cons

    They 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 ManagementAdvice

    It 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.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    OK place to work. there are worse options.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Denver, CO
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Denver, CO

    I have been working at Xcel Energy full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Stability 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.

    Cons

    Difficult 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 ManagementAdvice

    Bring 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.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Everything you would expect from working at a utility

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Denver, CO
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Denver, CO

    I have been working at Xcel Energy full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Solid, 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.

    Cons

    The 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 ManagementAdvice

    Take a chance on something. Anything. Stop passing the buck. Start encouraging mistakes.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Promotions very difficult to attain

    Former Employee - Administrative Assistant
    Former Employee - Administrative Assistant

    I worked at Xcel Energy full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    The pay and benefits are satisfactory to a point.

    Cons

    Getting 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 ManagementAdvice

    Employees 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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