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Xcel asks for 7.43% rate increase

Xcel Energy has filed an electric rate increase request for the company’s retail electric customers in Minnesota, including area cities such as Byron.

The proposed rate increase of 7.43 percent would affect customers in 48 counties and about 600 different municipalities and townships, said Dan Wolf, assistant executive secretary of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.

As part of the rate-approval process, an administrative law judge conducts public hearings to gather ideas from citizens. Seven hearings are scheduled from April 11 through April 20 at five locations near the Twin Cities, one in St. Cloud and one in Mankato.

Excel customers have been charged 5.62 percent more on their bills since Jan 2. If the increase is approved, an additional 1.81 percent would go into effect on Jan 1, 2012. This equates to $198.5 million in additional annual revenue for Xcel.

If the interim rates are not upheld, the difference will be refunded to customers.


"It is clearly not practical to hold public hearings in all counties or cities," Wolf said. "The judge generally conducts five or so such hearings in various geographic areas."

In addition to the public hearings, the public may submit comments through regular mail or email to the PUC. Customers received an insert in their most recent bill about the increase.

Evidentiary hearings before the judge are scheduled for the first eight days in June, all in St. Paul.

Wolf said the proposed increase would probably go to the PUC for oral arguments and deliberations in November.

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