“The Department of Commerce’s recommendation includes reductions in Xcel’s proposed cost of capital, along with overstated costs for insurance, executive compensation, pension and numerous other costs,” Byrne said. “In addition, we conclude that Xcel’s revenues will be higher than forecasted, diminishing the need for higher rates.”
She also urged residents in the audience to come forward and speak, but no one did.
After the hearing, Mike Frederick said he attended because he received a notice and wanted to hear what everyone had to say. The restaurant employee who lives in an apartment near Minnesota State University said the rate increase won’t matter much to him because he doesn’t use much electricity. He did say it would be better to increase rates over several years instead of all at once.
“I’m not making a lot where I work,” he said. “They should just ease it up a little for people who don’t make a lot of money.”
Tom Riley, new business development director for Greater Mankato Growth, spoke in favor of Xcel on behalf of the local business community. He used the microphone, so his comments were on the record.
He said Xcel worked with a local business to make a 15,000-square-foot expansion affordable. Without the assistance, the expansion wouldn’t have happened here, Riley said.
Riley also said Xcel regularly sponsors community events, including the Songs on the Lawn events that take place downtown every summer.