TAKE ACTION! Join the fight for energy democracy and say NO to unprecedented utility rate increases! Your voice and Public Comments make a difference. :
The Minnesota PUC has scheduled in-person hearings and 2 virtual hearings allowing you the opportunity to express how Xcel Energy’s proposed rate increase will affect you and your family. After expressed opposition by the Just Solar Coalition intervenors of which Community Power is a member, Xcel has agreed to add hearings in Minneapolis and Saint Paul.
Thursday, October 20 at 5:30 pm in St. Paul -
St. Paul Rondo Community Library
Rondo Multipurpose Room
461 Dale St N
St. Paul, MN 55103
Friday, October 21 at 2:30 pm in Minneapolis -
Minneapolis Central Library
Doty Board Room
300 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, MN 55401
There is a huge disconnect between what Xcel says when it's selling its energy plan ("we'll keep bills low") and then requesting a 21% electric rate increase over 3 years.
When Xcel wants to raise the rates which we pay for electricity, they have to prove to the quasi-judicial 5-member Public Utilities Commission that their rates are “just and reasonable”. The public hearings they provide are where you can come in.
Because utility companies are monopolies, they have the power to assert control over the market and prioritize the needs of their investors over their customers, unless held in check by these state regulators.
Can't Make it in person? Take part in these Virtual Hearings:
- Monday, October 31 at 1:30 pm - Instructions to join via WebEx can be found here (pdf).
- Wednesday, November 2 at 6:00 pm - Instructions to join via WebEx can be found here (pdf).
No Way Out - Xcel Energy Seeks To Increase Our Bills by 21% With Few Investments to an Affordable Clean Energy Future
If granted a 21% rate hike, residential customers would face ~$15 to $21 per month increase on average. What might sound like a negligeable increase to some ( an average of $140-$240 per year ) can mean life or death to others such as not being able to afford to turn on the AC during summer heat waves, or because the utility shut off power due to non-payment.
Xcel customers as of January 1st, are already paying a 6.4 percent interim rate increase. Any amount of it the PUC denies, Xcel will have to refund customers whatever was collected that they were not granted. The MN Public Utilities Commission (PUC) will have the final say. Certainly, Xcel needs capital to provide upgrades and reliable service and we can't take energy for granted. But here is the reality for Minnesotans and the reality of what Xcel is actually using this increase to do:
- 1 in 8 residential Xcel customers is already behind on their bill and heating costs are going way up due to last year's mismanagement in Texas amid a climate driven cold snap.
- Xcel just experienced an 8.4% profit growth in 2021
- Xcel had the 8th highest paid executive in MN last year, and the 2nd highest CEO-to-median-worker pay ratio among US utilities (139 to 1).
- CBS News reported that Xcel hasn’t paid federal income taxes in over 14 years
- Xcel wants to increase the guaranteed profit for its shareholders to 10.2% — up from 9.06% currently.
- In 2021, Citizens Utility Board (a trusted ratepayer advocate) released the “Consumers Plan" showing how Xcel could actually lower customer costs $1 BILLION/YEAR by pursuing more renewables and helping customers convert from fossil fuels to electricity. Building more fossil fuel resources, such as new gas plants Xcel hopes to build, would cost customers even more than the build-cost due to the price volatility of the natural gas fuel.
- The Inflation Reduction Act, makes the cost for renewable investments lower than Xcel’s initial estimates
- The investments Xcel wants to make in this rate case do little to nothing to enable more local renewables nor make good on the requirements to allow Distributed Resources as the Commission has required them to do
photo credit: The Center for the American Experiment (yes! some might be surprised to know they've been pissed about Xcel's profiteering for years, but red flags about Xcel becoming "hoggy" with greed have started to spread across the political spectrum). This image shows 2019 data before the new CEO, Bob Frenzel, took the helm.