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Published September 29, 2009, 03:01 PM

Smaller Rate Hike Approved for Xcel in Minnesota

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission has approved a smaller electric rate increase than the one requested by Xcel Energy.

The commission voted Tuesday to authorize a rate increase totaling $90 million to $92 million.

That's about 70 percent of the $132 million sought by Xcel, which originally proposed an even higher increase. Xcel's original $156 million request would have raised rates 6 percent overall.

Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy says it needs the higher rates to cover rising costs.

Public Utilities Commission secretary Burl Haar says it's too soon to say how the decision will affect the rates customers pay. He says it will depend on the type of customer and how much power they use.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press