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Continued: New billing method proposed for Xcel would raise rate for higher energy users

  • Article by: DAVID SHAFFER , Star Tribune
  • Last update: June 23, 2014 - 10:05 AM

There’s been no customer backlash, she said, but the verdict is still out on whether the rate structure or the utility’s other conservation programs are causing people to cut back their power usage. In 2013, Minnesota Power shaved 2.5 percent off its customers’ power usage, beating the 1.5 percent annual energy conservation mandate under state law.

Since 2010, Xcel has billed its residential electric customers in Colorado under tiered rates to encourage conservation. In a report to regulators about the first three years, the company said the rates cut summer energy consumption by 1.9 percent to 4.3 percent a year.

The other groups advocating for the Minnesota rate change are the Sierra Club, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Izaak Walton League Midwest Office.

 

David Shaffer • 612-673-7090 • @ShafferStrib

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  • Conservationists propose that Xcel Energy apply tiered pricing to its Minnesota residential power customers, as it does in Colorado and as Minnesota Power does in the northern part of Minnesota. File photo of an Xcel power line being installed near St. Cloud in 2011.

  • Conservation rate proposal

    Xcel Energy residential electric customers in Minnesota would face higher rates as they use more kilowatt-hours under a proposal by consumer and environmental groups.

    Summer* Winter*

    Block kwh/month� Cents Cents

    1 0-350 6.1 5.5

    2 351-700 9.5 8.1

    3 701-1,200 10.4 8.9

    4 1,201 or more 12.7 9.4

    * Seasonal rates already exist, reflecting higher demand in summer.

    � kilowatt-hours per month.

    Source: regulatory filing

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