An administrative law judge says that Xcel Energy’s proposed electricity rate hike should be held to 4.7%. Xcel is asking the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission for a 7.8% increase, totaling $209-million, to pay for power plant upgrades. Xcel officials on Monday said that the judge’s recommendations would amount to a $127-million rate increase. The state Department of Commerce has recommended a 3.7% increase, saying the utility should cut bonuses and other perks for executives. Xcel’s $1.2-million electric customers in Minnesota have been paying an interim increase of about 9% since January 1st, but likely will get refunds plus interest after the state PUC issues a final ruling, which is expected in September.