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Judge recommends limiting Xcel Energy rate hike

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news Willmar, 56201
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — An administrative law judge says Xcel Energy's proposed electricity rate hike should be held to 4.7 percent.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Xcel said Monday that last week's recommendations by Administrative Law Judge Jeanne Cochran would amount to a $127 million rate increase.

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Xcel is asking the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission for a 7.8 percent, increase, totaling $209 million, to pay for power plant upgrades.

The state Department of Commerce has recommended a 3.7 percent increase, saying the utility should cut bonuses and other perks for executives.

Xcel's 1.2 million electric customers in Minnesota have been paying an interim increase of about 9 percent since Jan. 1, but likely will get refunds plus interest after the PUC issues a final ruling, which is expected in September.

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