The Budget Billing Plan (the “Plan”) is offered to qualified customers to balance seasonal fluctuations in energy use by spreading the cost of utility services over the entire year for more consistent, manageable bills. The Plan helps keep energy costs predictable by leveling out monthly payments based on average energy usage for the previous year. The terms and conditions of the Plan are fully explained below.
For customers enrolled in the Plan, Black Hills Energy averages annual energy costs over 12 months to determine a monthly payment. The amount payable in the current month shall be the average of the total monthly costs in the previous 12 months, including charges incurred during the current month, plus one-twelfth of any Total Account Balance (the deferred amount due to Black Hills Energy or credit due to customer by paying more or less than the amount of service used in the time period) from the previous budget year. Each month, Black Hills Energy reviews the budget bill amount using the average of the previous 12 monthly bills. The budget amount will be changed if the recalculated budget amount differs 10% or more from the current budget amount, thus allowing for more stable monthly payments. On the budget billing anniversary date, the monthly payment will be recalculated based on the average energy usage for the previous year.
Availability & Eligibility
The Plan is available upon request to the following customers:
- Residential customers in good standing receiving continuous service
- Commercial customers in good standing receiving continuous service and whose projected monthly average billing is $1,200.00 or less
The Plan is not available to customers who currently owe a past due amount.
Termination & Settlement
The Plan may be terminated by either the customer or Black Hills Energy at any time. Black Hills Energy will terminate the Plan if any of the following occur:
- The service is suspended for any lawful reason, and a final bill is issued on the account.
- For commercial customers, the average monthly billing amount equals or exceeds $1,600.00.
If the Plan is terminated either by the customer or Black Hills Energy, settlement for the balance (Total Account Balance plus current month service charges) of the customer’s account shall be accomplished by the following process:
Deferred amount due to Black Hills Energy
- The customer may pay the balance upon leaving the Plan, or the balance will appear on the next month’s bill and will be payable by the due date of that bill.
- If services remain active and the account is eligible, the balance may be paid under a delayed payment agreement.
- If services are terminated, the entire balance will be due and payable with the final bill.
Credit due to customer
- If services remain active, a credit in the amount owed to the customer will be reflected in the next month’s bill.
- The customer may request a refund of the credit in the form of a check.
- If services are terminated, the credit will be applied to the final bill. Any remaining credit will be issued via check.