Xcel Energy seeks rate increase for Texas customers

Xcel Energy announced Tuesday that they will be seeking a base rate increase for Texas customers to support improvement investments.

According to Xcel the cost increase will support improvements for electric reliability and capacity while boosting communities through construction projects.

The company presented the increase proposal Tuesday to the 80 towns and cities that Xcel serves and the Public Utility Commission of Texas. If approved the rate increase could increase revenue to $52.7 million per year.

So what does this mean for customers? Xcel said customers using 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month for example would see an increase of 10.5 percent or $10.94 per month.

Xcel said they requested the increase be implemented in two steps, the first beginning on March 1 with fuel costs factored in and the remainder of the increase to begin in July. Xcel customers will no longer see the transmission cost recovery charge once the new rates are in effect.

According to Xcel the increase customers will see is due in part to the loss of wholesale customers which leaves remaining customers a larger portion of costs. Xcel also invested more than $386 million between July 2012 and June 2013 on new and upgraded equipment such as power lines, generating units and substations.

In a news release, Xcel said that the company continues to rank as one of the lowest cost providers in the state thanks to their diverse mix of resources such as wind energy acquisitions which Xcel predicts will save approximately $590 million in fuel costs over the next 20 years.

To further reduce your electricity costs Xcel offers energy-efficiency programs and tips capable of reducing costs by as much as 10 percent or more. Visit the Save Money and Energy tab on Xcel's website.