Xcel offers money-saving tips ahead of rate hike for South Dakota customers

Xcel Energy will increase its electricity rates starting Jan. 1.
Xcel Energy will increase its electricity rates starting Jan. 1.(Dakota News Now)
Published: Dec. 8, 2022 at 1:54 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Xcel Energy provided customers tips for saving money over the holiday season on Thursday while the company plans to increase its rates by about 18 percent for South Dakota customers next month.

“Customers using a strand of 100 LED mini-lights for five hours a day will save more than $1 a month per strand, when compared to a strand of incandescent bulbs,” Xcel wrote in a news release this week. The company outlined several other holiday light alternatives that provide savings ranging from $5 to $7 per month per light strand.

Meanwhile, Xcel Energy will raise their electric rates for South Dakota customers by 17.9 percent starting Jan. 1. This increase amounts to $19.60 per month for the average residential customer, with 97,500 customers affected. The higher rates will mean a gain of about $44 million in annual revenue for Xcel.

Background on Xcel Energy rate increase

Xcel applied for approval for the rate increase from the Public Utilities Commission on June 30, 2022. By law, a utility company has a right to implement interim rates six months after filing for a rate change, and Xcel has indicated that it intends to do that Jan. 1, 2023.

Commission Chairman Chris Nelson said the PUC will issue a decision by next June, which is the one-year deadline. If the Commission determines that the final rate is less than the interim rate, any overpayment by consumers will be refunded with interest.

Xcel’s reasons for the rate increase include ensuring safe and reliable nuclear generation, funding nuclear plant decommissioning, investing in wind generation, and keeping up with cost pressures.