Xcel seeks to up bills on Texas customers

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Xcel energy is pushing to boost revenue by $90.2 million across the 79 cities and towns in its Texas service area. For residential customers using 1000 kWh per month, it's an average increase of 7.3 percent, or just over $6.50 per monthly bill.

The utility plans to use the rate case to keep up with what it says is a Texas energy market that is outpacing growth in the seven other states it operates in across the West and Midwest.

"Our customers expect us to invest wisely to modernize and upgrade our system to meet this growing demand and provide the reliable service necessary to sustain economic growth. This case is largely driven by these investments, which provide great value to our customers over the long term," said Riley Hill, President and CEO of Southwestern Public Service Company, an Xcel Energy company, in a statement.

Hill added that the current rate structure is outdated and is based on 2009 needs. Since that time, the utility has invested more than $700 million in new generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure. Peak electricity demand is also up more than 10 percent since 2010.

Xcel noted that overall energy costs are still expected to remain lower than previous years due to the continued falling price of natural gas.

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