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Published April 06, 2011, 04:16 PM

State Says Xcel Doesn't Need Such a Big Rate Hike

The Minnesota Department of Commerce says Xcel Energy doesn't need the large rate increases it's seeking over the next two years.

By: Associated Press,

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Department of Commerce says Xcel Energy doesn't need the large rate increases it's seeking over the next two years.

The department's Office of Energy Security is recommending state regulators knock 62 percent off Xcel's proposed $150 million increase for electric service in 2011. It also says Xcel's requested additional $48 million hike for 2012 should be trimmed by 54 percent.

The Star Tribune says the Commerce Department looked at Xcel's costs for capital, wages and legal expenses and found the company overestimated costs and underestimated revenue in 2011.

The state and Xcel will take their cases to the Public Utilities Commission, which is expected to make a rate decision by the end of the year.

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