Proposal to save consumers money, reward energy efficiency

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On June 6, Fresh Energy joined with several efficiency and clean energy organizations and the Energy CENTS Coalition to propose a new electric billing rate for Xcel Energy customers. Compared to Xcel’s requested rate increases, the proposal will save consumers money and reward energy efficiency.

The new structure, called Inclining Block Rate pricing, charges people a higher rate when they use significantly more electricity, while also protecting many low- and fixed-income families and individuals from rate increases.

The system has been used by Minnesota Power throughout the Iron Range since January 1, 2013 and has already been implemented by Xcel Energy throughout its Colorado service territory, resulting in significant savings between 2010 and 2012.

In a story in the Star Tribune on June 6, Fresh Energy’s Will Nissen said, “It rewards customers who have already invested in energy efficiency or engage in other conservation measures.” These customers have helped avoid the cost of building 10 new power plants in Xcel Energy’s service territory since 1992.

Xcel Energy is currently reviewing the rate proposal; the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission will decide when and whether the rates would go into effect.

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