State

Dec 13, 2012 9:18 AM by Garrett Boyd

Higher natural gas rates sought by Xcel

DENVER (AP) - Natural gas rates for 1.3 million in Colorado could be going up to pay for pipeline upgrades.

Xcel Energy has asked state regulators for a 10-year rate hike so it can raise about $800 million to replace about 100 miles of old pipelines.

Xcel is proposing a 10.7 percent increase over this year's base natural gas rates. Small-business customers would see a 10.4 percent overall rate hike by 2015.

The (Grand Junction) Sentinel reports that Xcel said if the increase is approved, it won't ask for another natural gas hike to go into effect until at least 2016.

The Minneapolis-based utility still is required to raise or lower natural gas rates every quarter depending on commodity prices.

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