You're electric bill could soon be going up by about $5. On Wednesday, Xcel Energy filed a proposal with the Public Utilities Commission of Texas to increase its base rate. This is the rate that pays for the company's day-to-day needs and investments. The other rate customers are billed for is fuel cost. That rate is based on the price of natural gas and coal and changes from time to time.
Xcel is asking for a 7.4% increase in its base rate for residential customers. For households that use about 1,000 kilowatt hours per month, you can expect your bill to jump from about $85 to $90 a month. The hike will bring in about $4 million to Xcel which will go toward maintenance and other operational costs.
The last time Xcel raised the base rate was twenty years ago. Since then, Xcel Media Relations Representative Wes Reeves says, the demand for electricity has grown and the company can no longer keep up with the operational costs under the current base rate. "We're just not bringing in enough money on the base rate to cover today's needs plus tomorrow's needs and that's what we're looking at as a long-term forecast."
If approved, the increase could take effect as early as July. Customers who are concerned about the increase in their bill should contact Xcel to work out a payment plan. That number is 1-800-895-4999.
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