$114M Xcel rate hike approved

DENVER – A $114 million rate increase requested by Xcel Energy won approval Thursday from the Colorado Public Utilities Commission.

The unanimous approval by commissioners gives Xcel the authority to raise rates over three years. Xcel serves customers in parts of Larimer and Weld counties, including Greeley.

Residential customers will see their bills increase by $1.68 per month this year, $1.29 per month in 2013, and 73 cents per month in 2014, according to the commission. That’s a total of $3.70 per month, or 5.5 percent, over the three-year period.

Monthly bills of commercial customers will rise an average $2.48, $1.94 and $1.21 in 2012, 2013 and 2014, respectively. Over the three years, that’s an increase of $5.63, or 5 percent. Industrial and transmission customers will see similar percentage increases.

“The settlement provides all Coloradoans with reasonable rate increases for vital services and provides stability and predictability for the next three years, which is important to businesses and consumers,” commission Chairman Joshua Epel said. “When compared to the magnitude of rate increase that could have occurred, it is a significant savings.”

Despite the rate increase, Xcel has said it expects overall electric rates to remain “below or very near” charges to customers in 2010 and 2011 because of lower natural-gas costs and other reductions.

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