Xcel Energy wants to charge you more to pay for electric vehicle charging stations

Several of our readers have reached out to me over the last week as they received their latest electric bill that contained an insert explaining how Xcel Energy is seeking to increase electricity bills for Minnesota families and businesses to build electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure.

Xcel Energy is proposing to spend $300 million to build and maintain 730 high-speed charging stations across Minnesota, including up to about 1,470 charging ports in total between 2024 and 2026, and to start an electric school bus pilot program.

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) must ultimately decide whether or not to approve this plan, so it is important that you tell them that you do NOT support this effort.

How to provide your feedback

Unfortunately, Xcel will have zero in-person meetings to discuss this plan. However, you can voice your disagreement with this policy in two main ways, online at one of two virtual public hearings or in writing.

The first hearing will be on Monday, March 6, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. (CST), and the other will be on Wednesday, March 8, 2023 at 7:00 p.m. (CST)

In writing

You can email your comments to the Minnesota PUC at [email protected]. Make sure to reference MPUC Docket No. 22-432 in the subject line of your comments. Remember, these comments are publicly available, so I suggest you keep your comments civil.

American Experiment will also have a place for you to send a message to the PUC and Xcel (coming soon).

Suggested language

Dear Members of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission,

I am writing today because I strongly oppose Xcel Enery’s attempt to increase my electric bill to fund the building of electric vehicle charging stations. I am urging you to vote no to this proposal in the strongest-possible terms.

Minnesota families and businesses are already struggling with high electricity costs as electricity rates in June 2022 reached new all-time highs.[1] Unfortunately, Xcel’s proposal would compound these hardships.

It is absolutely wrong to increase the cost of electricity for low and middle-income families to pay for electric vehicle charging stations because these families, as a rule, cannot afford electric cars. As a result, this proposed initiative will benefit wealthy people on the backs of hardworking families. If you care about concepts like environmental justice, you will not support this proposal.

Furthermore, the transmission and distribution of electricity are natural monopolies, but the provision of electric vehicle charging stations is not. Tesla did not need a government-approved rate of return to establish a robust charging network, and neither does Xcel Energy.

If Xcel Energy wishes to participate in the public electric vehicle charging industry, it should do so through an unregulated subsidiary and not as a regulated monopoly. The company should not be allowed to cynically use the funds of captive ratepayers to pad its rate base and increase its corporate profits under the guise of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.