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Smaller rate increase recommended for Xcel Energy's natural gas operations

May 03, 2010

Smaller rate increase recommended for Xcel Energy's natural gas operations

For Immediate Release: Monday, May 3, 2010

Office of Energy Security recommends smaller rate increase for Xcel Energy's natural gas operations

( ST. PAUL, MN) The Minnesota Department of Commerce's Office of Energy Security (OES) today recommended that the rate increase proposed by Northern States Power, d/b/a Xcel Energy, for its natural gas service be reduced by more than 85 percent.  The original amount requested by the utility was $16.2 million per year.  OES is recommending to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) a rate increase of less than $2 million.

The OES's recommendation takes into consideration a number of factors, such as:

Xcel Energy will be able to provide reliable service under OES's recommended increase.
Certain costs estimated by Xcel Energy were too high to justify charging to customers.
The utility could realize savings by cutting various costs, thus reducing the need to increase rates.
Administrative Law Judge Eric L. Lipman will present his recommendations to the PUC after written testimony, public hearings and evidentiary hearings are completed.   The PUC is expected to make a decision on the matter before the end of the year.

Xcel Energy is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota and serves 426,176 retail natural-gas customers in Minnesota.

**The PUC Docket No. for the rate case is G002/GR-09-1153.  For the Office of Administrative Hearings, the Docket No. is 8-2500-21026-2.