Hearings begin for Xcel's rate hike request

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More than a million electric customers in Minnesota will get a chance to sound off on Xcel Energy's proposed $285 million rate hike this month, Minnesota Public Radio reports. There will be a series of seven hearings, which will include meetings in Minneapolis, St. Paul, St. Cloud and Mankato.

The Minneapolis-based utility is seeking a 10.7 percent electrical rate increase.

The Public Utilities Commission approved an interim hike of 9 percent, but customers could get refunds if the commission grants a lower rate than the current increase.

The state Department of Commerce is recommending a more modest increase of about 3 percent to 4 percent.

The public can also make comments online at PUC's website. The commission is expected to make a decision by September.

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