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Department of Commerce continues to recommend significantly smaller rate increases for Xcel Energy

Analysis conducted by the Department reveals Xcel continues to understate revenue and overstate costs

April 12, 2013

For Immediate Release:

SAINT PAUL, MN – The Minnesota Department of Commerce Division of Energy Resources (DER) recommended today the reduction of over $195 million of the $285 million revised rate increase proposed by Xcel Energy for electric service in 2013, a reduction of 69 percent overall.  Xcel provides electric service to over 1,227,768 customers largely in the Twin Cities and the southern half of Minnesota.  The Commerce Department concluded that, even with the recommended reductions, Xcel will have sufficient revenue to provide safe, reliable service by making needed improvements to distribution, transmission and generation facilities.  

“While Xcel improved its case on certain issues, our recommendation continues to urge the Public Utilities Commission to substantially reduce Xcel’s rate request on behalf of Minnesota ratepayers,” stated Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman.  

DER recommended reductions in costs for items including cost of capital, costs related to employee benefits, income taxes, insurance costs, cost allocations, investor relations, and numerous other costs.  Additionally, DER concludes that Xcel’s revenues will be higher, diminishing the need to increase rates.  Moreover, DOC continues to conclude that Xcel’s proposal to increase rates due to energy conservation should not be approved.

After evidentiary hearings are completed, Administrative Law Judge Jeanne M. Cochrane will present her recommendations to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.  The Commission is expected to decide this matter before September 2013.

For details and further information, please see the Public Utilities Commission’s website.

The Division of Energy Resources is tasked with ensuring that energy service is reliable and reasonable priced while minimizing adverse environmental impacts.  Consumers interested in energy efficiency and conservation can visit the Department of Commerce Division of Energy Resources website for consumer energy tips and guides.