Proposed Xcel Minnesota utility rate increases

This probably only interests you if you’re from Minnesota in the US and have Xcel as a utility provider.  Xcel has recently proposed rate increases as high as 10.7%; they recently scaled that back to 8.2%, and discussions are still pending.  However, in the reporting thus far I’ve not seen any details about proposed changes for residential customers.  I went looking at the PUC docket system for details, and found document #201211-80322-06 in docket 12-961.  There are probably other fee/rate/rider changes as well, but the top-line changes for residential seem to be:xcel_rate_increasesThat’s a $2 $3/month increase for “customer charge” and per-kWh increases as well.  Other parts of the document seem to reveal no change in the WindSource program cost, and I can’t find any details of changes to net metering agreements.  I’m not too broken up by this, I only buy on average about 110kWh/month net after my solar, and price increases raise my avoided costs and make solar pay off faster.  I imagine it’s a hardship for some.  If the increases went towards cleaner, more efficient energy I’d be happier with it; if it goes to corporate jets, a bit less so.

The above changes are before Xcel proposed a slightly lower increase; it’s unclear how that will affect residential customers at this point, I guess.

2 thoughts on “Proposed Xcel Minnesota utility rate increases

  1. Do they make it clear what charges are for infrastructure and what are for the electricity. Around me in California it used to be that water bills had a very low component for infrastructure costs and then the rest was variable based on your consumption. They have been very successful in getting people to cut back on water usage, with the result that the revenues coming in from the water usage charges has dropped a lot, and the total revenues aren’t enough to maintain and update the infrastructure. They should have been charging more for the infrastructure portion and less for consumption if they wanted to accurately reflect costs. Instead now consumers see that they went to great efforts to save water, and as a consequence the water companies are raising rates!

    • There are many, many documents on file. It’s not really clear to me what all is truly driving the increase.

      I suppose that increasing the base monthly fee would indeed be going more for infrastructure, while the per-kWh cost has more to do with the generating costs.

      The downside, IMHO, is that if you bundle too much into the flat monthly fee you take away all incentive (indeed, all opportunity) to reduce your bill through conservation.

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