Xcel Energy to raise rates on South Dakota customers while waiting for state to decide case

Xcel Energy is raising rates for its South Dakota customers on Jan. 1.

The Minneapolis-based company says the rate hike will remain in effect until the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission decides on whether to approve Xcel's request for an 8 percent increase.

Xcel says state law allows the company to increase rates on an interim basis because the commission is not expected to decide the case before the end of the year.

The change means the average residential customer will see an increase of about $8.50 a month. If the commission approves rates that are less than the interim charges, customers will receive a refund of the difference, with interest.