UNDATED (WJON News) - Xcel Energy has proposed a first-in-the-nation plan for households in low-income areas.

In a plan submitted to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, Xcel suggests an average $450 per year bill credit for households in areas Xcel says pay the highest bills with the lowest incomes.

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The plan would automatically enroll households in 77 Xcel service areas that the U.S. Census indicates have the lowest household income. Officials say the goal would be to ensure no household pays more than four percent of its earnings on electric bills.

The Proposed Plan Details:

  • A two-year pilot program.
  • Xcel used their customer bills, combined with U.S. Census data, to create a map of what areas have the highest bills with the lowest incomes. Those specific areas have not been finalized.
  • Households in those areas would automatically be enrolled in the program.
  • The goal is to ensure no household pays more than 4% of its earnings on power bills. Statewide, the current Minnesota household pays an average of two percent of its earnings on energy, according to the 2022 Commerce Department report.
  • Officials believe lower-income households often live in older, less energy efficient homes.

The program is estimated to cost $10 million over the two-year project, with an estimated annual cost to ratepayers of $1.50.

The proposal is currently in the open comment period at the P-U-C, and Xcel officials hope to have approval by the end of the year.


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