Xcel Energy on Thursday filed a request with Minnesota regulators to increase natural gas rates by 2.8 percent beginning next year.
The increase would be about 3.9 percent higher for typical residential natural gas customers, or about $2.71 per month more than they pay currently, without taking natural gas prices into consideration. The total increase for Xcel from the rate hike would be $16.2 million.
The rate increase would help the utility recover the costs of investments to its natural gas system and account for increased operating costs, said Judy Poferl, president and CEO of Northern States Power Co. of Minnesota, which is an Xcel company.
Xcel Energy has 433,000 natural gas customers in Minnesota and operates more than 8,700 miles of natural gas mains and distribution lines in the state.
The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission must approve the rate hike. In the interim, Xcel wants the PUC to allow it to implement a temporary rate hike of about 2.2 percent that would take effect Jan. 11.