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Xcel Energy Settles With Consumer Groups For Electric Rate Increase

Xcel Energy

A regional power company and key customer groups in Texas have agreed to an electric rate increase.

In a press release issued Tuesday afternoon, Xcel Energy says that they have agreed to a two-step base rate increase for Texas electric retail customers.

Xcel says the increase will help cover the cost of critical investments in new power lines, substations, and generating facilities to meet growing regional demand.

The agreement, filed with the Public Utility Commission of Texas, allows Xcel to raise their overall Texas retail revenues in May by $37 million, which comes out to 4.9 percent increase.

Another increase of $13.8 million would occur in September. The increases together are less than the original $90.2 million increase that the utility originally sought in a November 2012 proposal.

A home using 1,000 kilowatt-hours will see an increase of around 4.8 percent, or $4.36 per month for the May increase, and the September increase will cause the same home’s bill to increase by 1.7 percent, or $1.63 per month.

Xcel says the rates will be implemented on an interim basis until a final order is issued by the PUCT and municipalities take final action on the rate request.

“Investing in new power lines, substations, and power plants is vitally important to the region’s economic success and our ability to meet growing customer needs,” said Riley Hill, president and CEO of Southwestern Public Service Company, an Xcel Energy company.

He continued, saying “In addition to boosting the reliability and capacity of the grid, these investments are creating jobs and building the tax base, especially in our rural communities. They are long-term investments designed to benefit our customers over time.”

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