Xcel gets interim rate hike approved in ND

Associated Press

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota's Public Service Commission has approved a request by Xcel Energy for an interim electric rate increase while state regulators consider the utility's request for a permanent rate hike.

Xcel wants to raise its electric rates by 12 percent in North Dakota this year and by 2.5 percent in 2012. That would affect about 88,000 Xcel customers in the state.

North Dakota Public Radio reports that an average customer will pay another $7.19 cents per month under the interim rate increase. Commissioner Kevin Cramer says if the final rate increase is less than what Xcel has requested, customers would get the difference back as refunds with interest.

The PSC will hold public input sessions on the rate increase in May.