Xcel Energy: Natural Gas Customers Could Pay 104% More

Denver (AP) Colorado's largest utility says "typical" residential customers could see natural gas bills soar 104 percent next month, due in part to a newly–proposed rate hike. XCEL Energy is proposing an eleven percent boost in natural gas commodity prices for November and officials with the Minneapolis–based company say that could cause bills to more than double when coupled with higher demand during the winter months.

Natural gas bills could jump 94 percent for small businesses. In terms of dollars and cents, XCEL says the average residential customer can expect to pay more than $130 for November, compared with about $64 this month.

The company says natural gas prices remain high because of a "tight balance" between supply and demand.

The Colorado Public Utilities Commission has the final say over the rate hike. If approved, the new rates would go into effect November first.

Copyright 2005 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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