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Associated Press, Published November 13 2009

Xcel Energy seeks hike in natural gas rates

ST. PAUL – The natural gas bill for the average residential customer of Xcel Energy would go up nearly 4 percent under a new request from the company.

Xcel said in a news release that on Thursday it filed an application with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission for the rate increase starting next year.

The company is asking for an overall increase in natural gas rates of

$16.2 million, or 2.8 percent for 2010. When combined with changes in other charges, the bill of a typical residential customer would increase by $2.71 a month.

Company executive Judy Poferl said Xcel has made significant investments in its system to improve service. She said Xcel needs the rate hike to pay for them.

Xcel serves 433,000 natural gas customers in Minnesota.

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