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Xcel Energy Seeks Approval To Raise Electricity, Natural Gas Rates

If Approved, Electricity Rate Climbs 6 Percent, Natural Gas Rate Jumps 10 Percent

Xcel Energy workers
David Zalubowski/AP Photo

Xcel Energy is seeking permission to raise it’s electricity and natural gas rates for its 260,000 Wisconsin customers next year. If approved by the Wisconsin Public Service Commission, this would be the 12th consecutive rate hike by the utility.

Xcel wants to increase electric rates by 6 percent and natural gas rates by 10 percent for typical customers. This would generate around $36 million to be used for infrastructure and developing renewable energy sources, said Don Reck, Xcel’s regional vice president of rates and regulatory affairs.

“The requested electric rate increase would support investments in the grid to maintain the reliability and improve the security, and we’re also investing in clean energy sources such as wind and maintaining our nuclear fleet as well,” Reck said.

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Specifically, Xcel will replace equipment at hydroelectric dams in Eau Claire and St. Croix Falls, and make improvements to it’s Prairie Island nuclear power plant in Red Wing, Minnesota.

“We have made steady progress in improving the environmental quality of our generation source,” Reck said. “We’re now at 25 percent renewable and 55 percent carbon free energy, which is amongst the highest levels in the country in terms of clean energy.”

Some of the money would also be used by Xcel to finish the final phase of an industrial, superfund cleanup site in Ashland on the shores of Lake Superior’s Chequamegon Bay.