MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Xcel Energy says it will ask state regulators to spread a large rate increase in 2014 over several years — a strategy it calls "rate smoothing."
The Minneapolis-based utility company says it needs to cover $1 billion a year of investments in its power system. Despite rate hikes in each of the last three years, executives say they will forgo a "significant" increase in 2014 in favor of smaller rate hikes over several years.
In its most recent Minnesota rate case, Xcel requested a 10.7 percent increase, but regulators cut it to 3.8 percent. That came after two smaller rate increases were approved in 2011 and 2012. The Star Tribune (http://bit.ly/1ihgN8b ) says the Xcel will now ask the state Public Utilities Commission to spread out its 2014-2015 rate hike through 2017.
Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com