State regulators today (10am start) consider Xcel Energy’s request for an eight-plus percent interim rate increase next year, on the heels of  this year’s similar increase — even as Xcel’s request for a 21-percent permanent increase over three years remains pending.  Brian Edstrom with the nonprofit Citizens Utility Board says consumers are already experiencing a lot of stress paying energy bills:

“Inflation generally, as we all know, has been complicated and challenging in recent months, and inflation of energy costs in particular has been challenging.”

Xcel said in documents filed with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission that inflation is also affecting the utility’s purchases to maintain and improve its electrical network.   Edstrom says says some rate increases over time are warranted, but it’s hard for consumers to absorb those costs right now.