Public meeting held on proposed Xcel rate increase
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -The PUC held a meeting to hear public comments regarding Xcel Energy’s proposed electric rate increase.
This past June, the commission received an application by Xcel Energy asking for approval to increase rates for electric service in its South Dakota territory by approximately $44.1 million annually or approximately 17.9%.
The company states a typical residential electric customer would see an increase of just under $20 per month.
The proposed changes could affect approximately 97,500 South Dakota customers.
While it’s not required, this was a large reason why PUC chairman, Chris Nelson said it was important to get the publics input before coming to a decision.
“When we started getting a number of emails from consumes of Xcel saying we’re concerned about this. This is really going to hurt our pocket book.”
Saying both sides have felt the impacts of high costs.
“Xcel is experiencing those inflationary pressures and they are telling us about that as they are asking for this rate increase and so that is driving part of why they are asking for this. But by the same token we’ve got consumers that are facing all of these pressures from all of the different areas they spend money on that are now competing for their utility dollar.”
Steve Kolbeck with Xcel Energy agreeing, saying inflation is the driving force behind the request for an increase.
“Everything has gone up since 2014. Labors gone up, cost of vehicle has gone up, cost of a bottle of pop has gone up all of that. Not to the extent of the last year we’ve seen inflation but it has gone up in that time period so we have to adjust.”
Saying it’s important that the company keep up service.
Ultimately the decisions will fall on the PUC.
“We have a ninety-nine-point nine percent reliability factor in South Dakota and if we’re going to continue to do that in the next coming years, we feel that those increases are necessary. Whether the commission agrees with us or not they’ll let us know that.”
For more information about the Xcel Energy’s electric rate increase request and related filings submitted to the commission, visit South Dakota Public Utilities Commission (sd.gov) .
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