Xcel agrees to a smaller rate hike for Minnesota

  • Article by: DAVID SHAFFER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 14, 2011 - 8:57 PM

Xcel Energy agreed Monday to dial back its electric rate increases for Minnesota.

The Minneapolis-based utility said a settlement with the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and large industrial users includes a $58 million rate hike in 2011 and $14.8 million more in 2012.

The settlement, which requires regulatory approval, gives Xcel nearly two-thirds less than the $198 million it sought a year ago.

Residential customers would see a 2.8 percent hike and commercial and industrial customers a 2.7 percent hike over two years.

That's less than customers now pay under an interim rate hike. It means customers would be refunded their overpayments made in 2011, though details were not released.

One major factor in the settlement is Xcel's decision to delay $27 million in investment at its Monticello nuclear power plant. The work to boost the plant's power output has been delayed until 2013 because of equipment and regulatory issues.

Judy Poferl, president of Xcel's Minnesota operations, said the settlement offers "a constructive resolution of all financial issues in a long and complex case."

The chamber and large industrial users had challenged Xcel's earlier rate request. The deal still requires approval of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.

David Shaffer • 612-673-7090

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