News headline reflects the stark difference in pricing strategy between competing businesses and regulated monopolies: “Xcel: Slack demand signals need for rate hike.”
The sub-headline reads, “The utility, which posted a profit increase, will ask Minnesota for approval to raise rates.” Profits are up? Must need to raise prices. Reading the article heightens the feeling that regulated monopolies just think differently.
- “Xcel Energy Inc. reported a 17 percent jump in earnings per share for the third quarter but warned that electricity sales remain slack and that it will seek a Minnesota rate increase.”
- “Cost-cutting efforts launched earlier in the year and rate hikes in four states boosted the company’s bottom line in the latest quarter, executives said. Yet the demand for power across the company’s eight-state service area remained slack for a utility long accustomed to growth.” — so the problem is that they’re “accustomed to growth” but don’t see it coming?
- “Xcel intends to file a request next week with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission for a 2013 electric rate hike, with an interim increase to be sought on Jan. 1. Madden offered few details, but said higher rates are needed to pay for investments in Xcel’s two nuclear power plants in Minnesota and to cover other cost increases.” — So they want to cover new, higher costs, which is normal…
- “He said Xcel also will file requests this year for … electric rate hikes in Texas, New Mexico and North Dakota. … Xcel also said it won’t need to invest as much in pollution control equipment at its Texas coal-burning power plants. [Xcel] can now defer $470 million in Texas emission-control upgrades for at least five years.” — And they need a rate hike to cover new, lower costs, too.