Colorado

Nov 3, 2009 7:16 PM by Associated Press

Xcel seeks $177.4 million rate hike in Colorado

Xcel Energy's request to raise electric rates by $177.4 million is drawing fire from critics of its new coal-fired power plant and consumer advocates.

The Minneapolis-based company says the proposed rate increase would raise the average residential monthly bill by $4.92. Activist Leslie Glustrom, who has challenged the rate increase, has questioned the need for a new coal-fired power plant near Pueblo. About $11 million of the increase would help cover the plant's costs.

The Colorado Office of Consumer Counsel questions the use of projected future costs to set rates rather than historic costs. Xcel officials say the rate is based on the most reasonable expenses.

The Colorado Public Utilities Commission is considering the rate increase.

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