What’s going on?  Well, it’s more complicated than just a regular ol’ rate case, which is complicated enough.  There are two directly relevant dockets, the “Rate Design” docket 15-662, and the “Rate Cast” docket 15-826.  Check the video links below, it’s worth watching while waiting for the rice to boil…

Right after their previous rate case was significantly reduced by the Minnesota Public Service Commission, and right after their “e21 lite” agenda was rammed through the legislature, Xcel Energy has filed a request for a massive transmission driven rate increase.


As a material term of the merger, Xcel agreed that there would be no rate cases filed, no rate increases, for 5 years (in addition to this agreement: Merger Stipulation Dec 15 1999).  Since that time, there’s been almost annual rate cases filed, and here’s how those turned out, in strictly financial terms:


Xcel’s problem with how the electric market is working?


So what did they do?  First, they got all the “usual suspects” together to push for reworking of the rates, their “e21” agenda:

Just filed Petition for Intervention in Xcel’s e21 Docket

e21 Planning Meeting announced

e21 met resistance, and in the 2015 legislative session, they did pass some of it:

Minn. Stat. 216B.16, Subd. 9

On top of that, Xcel pushed at the legislature and established another rate class for the biggest of the big customers with newly lowered rates, lower than the already lower big customer rates:

Minn. Stat. 216B.1696

And yet they encourage these large consumers in classes with MUCH lower rates, to consume, consume, consume, at our expense!?!??!!

Back to the rate case.  Here’s what the AG’s Office has to say (and remember, the AG’s RUD is there to represent the residential and small business ratepayers):



Yes, “woefully inaccurate.  That’s how it went in the CapX 2020 Certificate of Need, predicated on a 2.49% annual increase “forcasted” by Xcel, yet accepted by the Administrative Law Judge, well, at a slightly lower but still “woefully inaccurate” projection, and now that ALJ is the chair of the Public Utilities Commission.  Will their forecasts be given sufficient skeptical scrutiny?

And another filing, as Xcel in its reply comment tried to sneak in an unsupported definition of “Test Year” that should not fly:


Here’s the PUC Staff Briefing Papers for last Thursday’s meeting:

Staff Briefing Papers_1_201512-116122-01

Staff Briefing PapersAddeudum_1_201512-116402-01

Staff Briefing Papers Addendum_2_ PI Decision Options_201512-116402-02

Staff Briefing Papers_Tuma Option_201512-116402-03

Here’s the webcast:  Video

Docket 15-662 — Rate Design — video at 00:15:00 – 02:20:00

Docket 15-826 — Rate Case — starts at 02:20:00

… and note the agenda:


In 15-662, Rate Design, Xcel’s e21 Initiative was present and visible there:


The discussion (see Video) regarding the stakeholders’ meetings and comments had too much of an emphasis on reaching consensus, too much because this limited number and perspective of parties in the discussion is not representative of the public and any consensus reached would not likely be in the public interest.

Now, on to the rate case part of the Commission meeting Video (starting at 02:20:00).

Note there wasn’t much in the way of initial Comments reflected in the Staff Briefing Papers!

Relevant DocumentsCommissioner Tuma is taking language directly from e21 and related testimony and incorporating into the Commission’s motion!!!

One Response to “What’s up with Xcel’s new rate increase?”

  1. Alan Muller Says:

    Xcel is leading the PUC and Commerce around like donkeys….disgusting.

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