Officials say Xcel's proposed 10.7 percent increase is creating "rate shock" among customers. Instead, the state Commerce Department is recommending a smaller rate hike of about 3 percent to 4 percent.
The department analyzes utility finances on behalf of ratepayers. It says Xcel's request for a $285 million rate hike should be reduced by more than $191 million, or two-thirds.
Even with a smaller rate hike, the department says the Minneapolis-based utility will be financially strong enough to offer safe, reliable service.
Xcel officials tell the Star Tribune (http://bit.ly/12eO4OG ) they will carefully study the state's objections during the regulatory review now underway.
Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com