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Xcel Energy Updates 2013 Rate Case, Reduces Request

Stocks in this article: XEL

Citing changed circumstances since its November 2012 application, Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL) proposed a reduction to the electricity rate increase request currently under review before the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. The company provided the revised request in testimony filed today.

“This case is needed to support investments that will serve our customers well over the long term,” said Judy Poferl, president and CEO of Northern States Power Co.-Minnesota, an Xcel Energy company. “Our revised request allows us to facilitate these investments while reducing the size of our requested increase for customers.”

The proposals reduce Xcel Energy’s requested rate increase to approximately $220 million, down from $285 million. The modified request represents an overall rate increase of approximately 8.2 percent, down from 10.7 percent originally.

“Our proposal takes a balanced approach, mitigating customer impacts now while also meeting the company’s need to recover investments already made,” Poferl said. “We offer these proposals in an effort to reach a constructive outcome in this case.”

Key reductions proposed by the company include:

  • $35 million for Sherburne County (Sherco) Generating Station Unit 3 by lowering and deferring some 2012 and 2013 costs for later recovery, to better match the cost of the unit with its return to service later this year. The unit is currently unavailable as it undergoes extensive repairs since a catastrophic event in late 2011.
  • About $8 million for Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant by deferring some 2013 costs for later recovery, subject to a review by the commission.
  • Approximately $9 million by smoothing the impacts of the 2008 recession on pension expenses.

“We hope to work with the participants to further narrow the issues in this case,” Poferl said. “Rate requests are subject to extensive review prior to approval, and customers can have confidence that the rate increases granted are necessary for providing high-quality energy service.”

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