Xcel Energy Rate Increase

Xcel Energy and key customer groups in Texas have agreed to an interim base rate increase effective this month for Texas customers.

Under the new rates, the average residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per month will see February bills rise over January bills by 6.36 percent, or $6.04. Customers began paying a $2.22 charge in September 2008 to cover the costs of the new Hobbs Generating Station. These charges combined represent an increase of $8.26, or 8.7 percent, over rates in effect last summer.

This filing reflects a base rate increase of $57.4 million, or 18.5 percent, but because base rates account for only a portion of a bill, the overall impact is much lower.

The agreed-upon interim rates will be in effect until such time as the Public Utility Commission of Texas issues a final order.

"Increasing the base rate will allow Xcel Energy to begin recovering cost increases we've experienced since 2005," said David Eves, president and CEO of Southwestern Public Service Company, an Xcel Energy company. "Even with the increase, our costs have been and will remain among the lowest in Texas."