CBS Denver

DENVER (AP) – Xcel Energy plans to ask Colorado’s utility regulator to OK rate increases of around 3 percent this year and in the next two years, saying Tuesday it needs the money to pay for about $1 billion in new pipes, and other safety and reliability improvements.

In a news release Tuesday, Xcel said typical residential customers would see their monthly bill increase less than $2 each year, and small-business owners would see a monthly increase of less than $7 each year. The company has more than 1.3 million natural gas customers in Colorado.

Xcel expected to file its request late Tuesday. The Public Utilities Commission usually acts about seven months after such a request has been filed, giving entities like the Colorado Office of Consumer Counsel, which advocates for ratepayers, a chance to respond.

“Safety is a concern. The cost of safety measures is a concern,” said Cindy…

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