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Xcel, PSC agree on a four-year rate plan

The Public Service Commission has approved a four year electric rate increase plan for Xcel Energy’s North Dakota customers.

Xcel had asked for a $16.9 million rate increase at the end of 2012. That’s a 9.25 percent rate hike. It was granted an interim 8 percent increase, or $14.7 million. But under the settlement reached with the PSC, Xcel will see its rates go up by 4.9 percent per year for the next three years, with no increase in the fourth year.

Commissioner Julie Fedorchak says the settlement  means the rates are locked for four years – and that benefits customers.

"We know what the rate increases are going to be for the next four years," said Fedorchak. "I felt it was beneficial to customers to know now what those rate increases are going to be."

Xcel’s Dave Sederquist says this provides certainty for customers – and for the utility.

"We're in the midst of a fairly elevated investment cycle," said Sederquist. "These types of investments are sort of clumpy -- and we're in that bubble right now. The four year rate plane bridges that."

In addition, Xcel customers will see a one-time $19 credit on their bills. Xcel says that’ll happen within the next 90 days.

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