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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Xcel Energy says it wants to provide relief to households and small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The utility says it’s asked the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to approve about $25 million in customer benefits.

Xcel says that it wants to take advantage of lower than expected fuel prices to provide credits to electric customers over the summer months when they will be cooling their homes.

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As for small businesses, Xcel says it wants to use an existing development program to provide a reduced rate through the end of 2020. Eligible companies would be those that saw a 25% or more reduction in energy use due to the pandemic.

In addition to these proposals, Xcel says it’s using $20 million from the sale of the Mankato Energy Center to support charitable giving, some of which will go toward COVID-19 relief.

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