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Xcel Energy seeks rate increase to recover investments

January 5, 2021 GMT

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A major electric utility that serves customers throughout eastern New Mexico is proposing a rate increase to recover some of the more than $1 billion in investments it has made since 2019.

Xcel Energy filed the request with the state Public Regulation Commission on Monday. The filing was prompted by the recent completion of the Sagamore Wind Project near Portales, which was among the projects completed by the utility in recent years. Other improvement include new transmission lines and substations.

David Hudson, president of Xcel Energy in New Mexico, said in a statement that the utility’s investments are benefiting the region’s economy by adding capacity and making the system more reliable. He also said projects such as Sagamore will end up saving customers money since fuel costs will be less.

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“We’re able to keep electricity bills under the state and national averages even with incremental price increases,” he said.

It will likely be several months before utility regulators make a decision on the proposed rate hike.

If approved, Xcel said the new rates would not take effect until the fourth quarter. A typical residential customer could see an average increase of about $9.80 per month.