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Xcel profits increase as electricity use declines

Are we doing a better job conserving energy? Or can we not afford to keep the lights on anymore?

Xcel Energy reported this morning that retail electric sales fell for the three months ending June 30. Residential sales were down 0.6 percent and commercial/industrial sales were 4.1 percent lower than the same period last year.

Still, the company reports an increase in profits for the quarter: $117 million compared to $106 million in 2008.

The gain is “a result of constructive rate case outcomes” — that means they’ve raised our rates. In Minnesota, regulators approved an interim increase (PDF) of 5.1 percent.

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