ST. PAUL (AP) — The Public Utilities Commission is giving Xcel Energy customers in the Twin Cities and southern Minnesota the chance to comment on Xcel's proposed $285 million rate hike.

The utility has applied for a 10.7 percent electrical rate increase. The PUC has approved an interim hike of more than 9 percent.

Xcel says it needs the increase for upgrades. The Commerce Department says Xcel overstates its costs and understates revenues.

PUC spokesman Dan Wolf says more than 1 million customers could get refunds if the commission grants a lower hike than the interim increase.

Public hearings begin Monday in Brooklyn Center. There will be six other hearings including in St. Cloud and Mankato. Public comments may also be made online.

The PUC is expected to decide by September.