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Keeping energy affordable after widespread historic cold

While our delivery system reliably met our customers' extraordinary demand, the record cold event contributed to the largest natural gas price increase in the last 20 years. As an energy provider, these commodity costs flow directly to our customers with no markup from Black Hills Energy. Even though your March bill likely showed an increase related to your usage during that time, it hasn’t accounted yet for the extraordinary natural gas commodity cost increases. 

We’re currently working with regulators in each state to determine the best path forward in managing the long-term impact of February’s natural gas price increase for our customers. The timing of this impact will vary, but once the final determination is made by the regulatory bodies, you’ll be notified in advance of seeing the increase on your bill.

 

 

Visit your state below for the most recent and updated information.

Arkansas customers will notice a change to their bill beginning in June 2021. Subject to approval from the Arkansas Public Service Commission (APSC), the natural gas costs incurred during the polar vortex period will appear as an additional line-item on Arkansas customer bills. At the request of Black Hills Energy, the recovery of these natural gas costs will span over the next five years.

We’ll continue to work with the APSC on this matter and updated information will be provided as it occurs.

We’re working with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to manage the financial impact that Winter Storm Uri will have on our electric and natural gas customers.

As part of the cost recovery process, the CPUC will host virtual public comment hearings on Tuesday, Sept. 21 for our electric customers and Wednesday, Sept. 22 for our natural gas customers:

Written comments related to Winter Storm Uri can also be submitted here https://puc.colorado.gov/ by clicking on the “File a Comment” tab.


Recommended scenario to recover costs from Colorado Electric customers

Residential customers $3.83 per month for 2 years
Small commercial customers  $14.67 per month for 2 years



Recommended scenario to recover costs from Colorado Gas customers

Not all Colorado natural gas customers were impacted in the same way, so we recommended scenarios and recovery periods based on location, aligned with the three existing Gas Cost Adjustment (GCA) regions in Colorado

Residential customers (Central) $8.05-11.73 per month for 3 years
(North/Southwest) $10.62-15.48 per month for 3 years
(Western Slope) $12.46 per month for 1 year
Small commercial customers

(Central) $18.00-19.51 per month for 3 years
(North/Southwest) $25.74-31.86 per month for 3 years
(Western Slope) $25.65 per month for 1 year

 

For billing transparency and to keep these costs separate from other energy cost-related line items, we’ve made a recommendation to recover costs via a new temporary billing line item called the Extraordinary Cost Recovery Rider, or ECRR, beginning November 2021.

Iowa customers will notice a change to their bill beginning in April 2021. With approval from the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB), the natural gas costs incurred during the polar vortex period will appear as an additional line item on Iowa customer bills. At the request of Black Hills Energy, the recovery of these natural gas costs will span for the next three years.

We’ll continue to work with the IUB on this matter and will share updated information as it becomes available.   

Information coming soon.

We’ve been working closely with the Nebraska Public Service Commission (PSC) to determine the best path forward in managing the long-term impact of February’s natural gas price increase for our customers.

Beginning in July 2021, select Nebraska customers will notice a change to their bill. As approved by the PSC, the natural gas costs incurred during the polar vortex period will appear as an additional line item on residential and commercial customer bills. At our request, the recovery of these natural gas costs will span the next three years.

This does not impact Nebraska customers who participate in the Choice Gas program or opted into the 2021-2022 Annual Price Option program.
 

South Dakota customers will notice a change to their bill beginning in June 2021. With the approval from the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission (SDPUC), the electric costs associated with the cold weather event of February 2021 will appear as an additional line-item on South Dakota customers’ bills. At the request of Black Hills Energy, in efforts to lessen the financial impact on our customers, the recovery of these costs will span over the next 12 months.

In Wyoming, we have filed an application with the Wyoming Public Service Commission for the recovery of the costs related to February’s natural gas price increase. In that application, we have proposed a recovery over a three year timespan. This filing at the Wyoming Commission is Docket No. 30026-45-GM-21 (Record No. 15786). 

We recognize the financial impacts this will have on our customers and have designed a recovery plan that will ensure our ability to keep our system running efficiently and effectively while balancing customer impacts.

The costs included in the application were incurred only for those customers who were taking service under the Gas Cost Adjustment during February 2021.  Customers in our Casper, Gillette, and Torrington areas who selected a third-party Supplier in our Choice Gas Program will not be impacted by the new charge.

The new charge will be temporary and effective for a proposed three-year period beginning September 1, 2021.  Under the proposed charge, an average residential customer can expect an increase of about $8 each month and an average small commercial customer about $17 each month; these charges will vary based on usage.  
 

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