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Xcel trims its electricity rate hike request

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Xcel Energy Inc. is scaling back the proposed electricity-rate increase it’s seeking in Minnesota, the Star Tribune reports. The Minneapolis-based utility is now asking the state Public Utilities Commission to approve an 8.2 percent rate hike.

That’s down 2.5 percent from their original double-digit request of 10.7 percent. However, it’s still more than twice what the state Commerce Department recommends.

“Our proposal takes a balanced approach, mitigating customer impacts now while also meeting the company’s need to recover investments already made,” Judy Poferl, president and CEO of Northern States Power Company-Minnesota, an Xcel Energy company, said in a news release. “We offer these proposals in an effort to reach a constructive outcome in this case.”

Xcel's 1.2 million electricity customers in Minnesota started paying an extra 9 percent in January when an interim rate hike took effect.

The newspaper says Xcel still wants to raise the basic residential service charge by 40 percent to $10 per month.

Ratepayers have until the end of March to make a public comment. The commission is expected to make a decision this fall.

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