Xcel Energy CEO: Expect even higher electricity bills

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An aging infrastructure combined with slower revenue growth could lead to much higher utility rates. That's what Benjamin Fowke, chairman, president and CEO of Xcel Energy Inc., told those attending a 2013 Industry Outlook event in Minneapolis on Tuesday, the Business Journal reports. He believes rates could see their biggest jump in decades.

"We have seen a real decline in energy sales," Fowke said. "It used to be fairly predictable that as a utility you could take [gross domestic product] times 70 percent and that was your electric sales growth. That's not the fact anymore."

Xcel, the state’s largest electric utility based in Minneapolis, began charging its Minnesota customers a 9 percent interim rate hike on Jan. 1 — increasing electric bills about $8 per month. Xcel is seeking an even larger rate increase of 10.7 percent.

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