(Minneapolis, MN) — Xcel Energy wants to charge consumers more during evening peak hours. The energy utility has asked the state Public Utilities Commission to let it switch Minnesota electric customers to variable rates, which on summer weekdays would be seven times more expensive from 3:00 until 8:00 p.m. than between midnight and 6:00 a.m., and nearly twice as expensive as all other hours. 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.