Good news for no one in particular:
Xcel Energy customers in Minnesota will pay 9 percent more for electricity starting next month, after the state Public Utilities Commission on Thursday approved a $250 million interim rate increase.
Starting Jan. 1, a typical residential customer will pay about $8 more per month as the charge is applied to all power users -- from major industries to retail shop owners.
So why is this happening?
Xcel says the increase is needed to recoup investments in its two nuclear power plants, counter a drop in electric sales and pay for other power plant and transmission upgrades as well as higher property taxes.
See, when you buy all that energy-efficient stuff you use less energy. Can't have that!
Betsy Wergin, a commissioner who voted for the interim rate hike, conceded that the amount is "a big number and hard for people to swallow."
"There will be a high level of scrutiny on all parts of the rate case," she said.
Swallowing and force feeding are often at odds
It is the fifth electric rate increase for Xcel's Minnesota customers in seven years. The cumulative effect of the earlier increases on a typical household has been $10.40 per month, the utility said, which doesn't include January's increase.
So your utility costs go up about $20/month when it's all taken into consideration. On the bright side, they're not done:
Indeed, Xcel customers should prepare for continued rate increases. Clark said the company intends to file for another rate case next year. Unlike this one, it would aim to spread out rate increases over two or more years, he said.
Hey, it's only money.
Cross-posted and comments welcome at Mr. Dilettante's Neighborhood.