A program that required Xcel Energy to offer compensation to customers in the Fargo area for power outages has been extended through the end of 2017.
Under the plan, if a customer suffers three or more power outages in a year, that customer was eligible for a bill credit of $50. Xcel had filed earlier to end the program, saying it had made progress in replacing some older underground power lines – but the Public Service Commission decided it will keep it in place a little longer.
"At the end of the day, it's about providing more reliable service to the customers," said Commissioner Brian Kroshus. "Everybody knows what happens when you have a power outage now. How many clocks you have to reset, everything's blinking in the house. And a long-term outage can cause more problems."
Commissioner Julie Fedorchak said this plan has been an important expression to the Fargo community.
"We're watching it," Fedorchak said. "The company is watching it. And there were set goals for improvements. And when they (Xcel) aren't reaching those goals, there is a payment back to the customers."
The PSC will look at the results at the end of the year, and it could vote to extend the program further.