Mar 1, 2013 at 6:33 am
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) Minnesota officials are urging regulators to slash Xcel Energy's proposed rate increase for electric customers in the state.
Officials say Xcel's proposed 10.7 percent increase is creating ``rate shock'' among customers. Instead, the state Commerce Department is recommending a smaller rate hike of about 3 percent to 4 percent.
The department analyzes utility finances on behalf of ratepayers. It says Xcel's request for a $285 million rate hike should be reduced by more than $191 million, or two-thirds.
Even with a smaller rate hike, the department says the Minneapolis-based utility will be financially strong enough to offer safe, reliable service.
Xcel officials say they will carefully study the state's objections during the regulatory review now underway.