Xcel plans higher electric rates for Minnesotans during peak evening hours

(Minneapolis, MN)  --  Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy wants to charge consumers more during evening peak hours.  

The energy utility has asked state utility regulators to let it switch Minnesota electric customers to variable rates.

If approved, the plan would be a change from flat rates currently being used.  

Xcel says the shift is meant to ease pressure on the electric grid when demand is highest and give customers more control over their power bills.