89
      Wednesday
      90 / 65
      Thursday
      92 / 67
      Friday
      90 / 67

      Xcel Energy requests rate increase for customers

      Xcel Energy is asking for a base rate increase for its Texas retail customers.

      The rate increase would raise the bill for residential customers who use 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month by an average of $6.61 per month, or 7.3 percent.

      Xcel said the increase would help support the cost of generating and delivering energy that is critical to the growth of the local communities and the economies that sustain them.

      "The economy of the Texas Panhandle and South Plains continues to outpace national economic growth," said Riley Hill, president and CEO of Southwestern Public Service Company, an Xcel Energy company. "Our customers expect us to invest wisely to modernize and upgrade our system to meet this growing demand and provide the reliable service necessary to sustain economic growth. This case is largely driven by these investments, which provide great value to our customers over the long term."

      The proposal, according to the utility, was presented on Thursday to the 79 texas towns and cities that are served by the community in addition to the Public Utility Commission of Texas. The proposal sees to boost revenue by $90.2 million per year.

      "In addition to the value our customers will see, the investments also provide value to the communities we serve in the form of job growth and increased property and sales tax revenues paid by the company," Hill said.

      Xcel said the total increase for all customer classes combined is 12 percent and accounts for base rates and fuel costs.

      "In addition to the value our customers will see, the investments also provide value to the communities we serve in the form of job growth and increased property and sales tax revenues paid by the company," Hill said.

      Although Xcel is requesting a rate increase, overall rates should remain below the 2008 levels, the utility said.

      Xcel lowered the typical residential bill by about $10 earlier this year so even with an increase, Xcel said bills will remain lower than in early 2012.

      Xcel Energy, according to Jill, continues to rank as one of the lowest-cost electricity providers in the state.

      Since the last rate increase, more than $700 million has been spent by Xcel in the Texas Panhandle and the South Plains on new power generation equipment, new transmission lines, new substations and new distribution facilities.

      Fuel costs, according to the company, make up half of the bill while base rates make up the other half. The request for an increase only affects the base rate portion, Xcel said.