Nov 24, 2009 10:31 AM by Associated Press

Xcel abandons plans to charge ratepayers for perks

Xcel Energy has abandoned plans to have Colorado ratepayers pay for expensive dinners and luxury hotel stays for its employees.

The Minneapolis-based utility has agreed to remove $280,000 in charges meant to cover expenses and perks like Colorado Avalanche tickets. They had been included in its pending $136 million electricity rate increase.

The expenses came to light in September after the Minnesota attorney general questioned similar spending attached to a proposed rate request there. Lawyers for Colorado's Public Utilities Commission asked for a breakdown of such expenses in Xcel's rate request.

Among the items was $45,000 for a one-week trip to Europe for two executives attending investor meetings. The company had planned to charge Colorado ratepayers for $10,361 of that.


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