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Xcel Energy Seeks Fuel Cost Increase From Texas Customers

Xcel Energy

Xcel Energy is seeking an increase in fuel cost collections from their retail customers in Texas.

Xcel Energy filed a proposal with the Public Utility Commission of Texas to increase its fuel cost factors, which will result in higher fuel charges on Texas retail customer bills.

Customers would see the increase on their bills beginning on June 1st if approved by the PUCT.

The company says the increase is to reflect higher prices for fuel, particularly natural gas. They say that natural gas prices have been low for the past four years, and have made electricity generated with gas less expensive.

Xcel says things have changed, and “as the price of natural gas firms up, the increase is necessary to cover the higher bills the company is paying for fuel.”

According to a press release sent out by Xcel on Wednesday, fuel costs are passed through with no profit to the company, and falling natural gas costs led to a near-10 percent drop in overall residential bills in early 2012.

Fuel costs reportedly make up about a third of a typical residential customer’s monthly bill. Under the proposed new fuel cost factor, an average increase of $5.87 per month could be expected for a customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month.

Under those circumstances, the increase would be about 6.2 percent monthly.

Xcel also settled with consumer groups for an electric rate increase late last month. Residential customers with Xcel can expect to see two increases over the next year.

The first electric increase scheduled for May 2013 would cause the average customer’s bill to increase around $4.36, and the September increase will cause the bill of the same home to increase by another $1.63.

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