Many of you may have noticed an insert in your energy bills talking about the proposed increases in Xcel's rates. The rate hike is pretty substantial for residential customers with regular power rates increasing about 12-14%, and also a jump in the basic service fee. The hike coming now is particularly surprising because they just got a double digit rate case three years ago. Asking for more now seems excessive, especially given the state of the economy and that for those increases we are not going to see a whole lot of green energy.
What is most surprising is that they are planning on raising the costs to participate in the Windsource program by 40%! This is a program which SECIA has been actively promoting even before the Green Village concept came along. If Xcel is successful in getting this rate hike approved that will mean that the cost of participating in Windsource will have risen from $2.00 per 100 kwh to $4.96 per 100 kwh, or 148%! All the while the reports, including those generated by Xcel to their shareholders, have shown that the costs of wind power are dropping. If this doesn't sound good or make sense, you're not alone. And yes, there is something you can do about it.
Currently, the rate case is up for public comment. You can go to the website of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission and make a comment. Here's a link to the website and Xcel's rate case (sixth one down). http://www.puc.state.mn.us/puc/electricity/comment-on-an-issue/index.html Reference Docket# 10-971.
You can email the MPUC directly also at: PublicComments.Puc@state.mn.us reference Docket# 10-971.
No comment end date has been set, but I would suggest submitting comments sooner than later to make sure they are part of the record. If you have questions you can contact the SECIA office and talk to the environmental coordinator. We will be working on comments from the Environment Committee on the topic soon.
wind turbines on Buffalo Ridge (MN)