Xcel Energy seeks rate increase

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Xcel Energy is seeking to raise rates on its New Mexico customers.

The utility says it needs money to help fund construction to improve the reliability of the electric system and strengthen the area's economic competitiveness.

The 6.9% overall increase would bring Xcel nearly $20 million more than it now gets from its New Mexico rates.

The company filed the rate request Monday before the state Public Regulation Commission in Santa Fe.

Xcel Energy supplies electricity to a large part of eastern New Mexico, stretching from Tucumcari south to Jal.

The company says it plans to invest about $2 billion through 2015 to retrofit generation plants to make them more efficient and reduce emissions.

The New Mexico rate increase would recover about $750 million of that cost.