Xcel Lowers Proposed Rate Increase 26 Mar 13

Xcel Energy has reduced its proposed Minnesota electric rate increase. The utility said Monday it lowered its proposed rate increase to 8.2%. Xcel had proposed a rate hike of 10.7% in November, but now cites changed circumstances since its original request. The revised proposals reduce the utility’s requested rate increase to about $220-million, down from $285-million. Minnesota officials had urged state regulators to slash Xcel Energy’s original request, citing “rate shock” among customers. The state Commerce Department recommended a smaller rate hike of around 3% or 4%. Company officials say the revised request allows the utility to make upgrades while reducing the size of the requested increase for customers.