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State urges Lower Xcel rates

The Minnesota Commerce Department wants Xcel Energy to reduce its proposed $285 million rate increase by $195 million.

"While Xcel improved its case on certain issues, our recommendation continues to urge the Public Utilities Commission to substantially reduce Xcel's rate request on behalf of Minnesota ratepayers," Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman said.

Costs Xcel faces are lower than expected, the department says, so rate increases do not need to be as large as sought.

The Public Utilities Commission is expected to decide the Xcel rate case by fall.