Xcel Energy Rate Increase

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Excel Energy customers across Wisconsin got some unwelcome news Friday.

The energy giant, who also owns Northern States Power in Wisconsin, filed an application with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin to request approval for an increase in the company's base retail electric rates.

Rates are based on the projected costs of energy production.

Representatives from Xcel say costs for the past year exceeded early projections, forcing an increase in rates to make up the difference.

Donald Reck, Director of Regulatory Affairs for Xcel, says customers in Western Wisconsin should expect a hike of around 3.7-percent.

If approved, the new rates will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2005.