Proposed Xcel Energy rate hikes draw fire in New Mexico

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A proposal by Xcel Energy to raise electricity rates is drawing oppositions from residents in southeastern New Mexico.
The Hobbs News-Sun reports many Hobbs residents last week said at a town hall meeting that they strongly opposed the plan to raise rates.
Officials with Southwestern Public Service Company, a subsidiary of the Minnesota-based Xcel Energy, asked for rate reviews in October from New Mexico regulators. Xcel says the rate increase would help fund recent power lines, substations and power plant upgrades.
New Mexico Public Regulation Commissioner Patrick Lyons says if approved rates would jump 6.2 percent to 17.7 percent, depending on the time of year and rate class.
Hobbs Mayor Sam Cobb says the rate hikes would create hardship for residents and small businesses.

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