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Black Hills Energy Receives Approval for Consolidation and New Rates in Wyoming

New rates reflect company’s significant investments in safety and reliability of its Wyoming gas system

Black Hills Energy received Wyoming Public Service Commission approval to consolidate its Wyoming tariffs and for a general rate increase.  

The approval is the final step in Black Hills’ utility jurisdiction consolidation process for Wyoming. Previously, Black Hills Energy received approval from the Commission and legally consolidated its four natural gas utilities in the state. The current approval allows Black Hills Energy to establish statewide customer rates and to further consolidate general tariffs, gas cost adjustments, and certain riders and adjustment clauses. 

The new rates will go into effect on bills issued on and after March 1, 2020, to recover Black Hills Energy’s investment in utility infrastructure and operating expenses.

Rate information

Division Average Monthly Bill - Current Average Monthly Bill - Beginning March Monthly Change Percentage Change
Residential $46.38 $57.58 $11.20 24.16%
Small General Service 82.35 107.14 24.79 30.10%
Medium General Service 466.66 502.95 36.30 7.78%

For Casper Division Rate Schedules RCG, TC, FS-1 and MCS:

Within the communities of Riverton, Shoshoni, Arapahoe, Hudson, Lander, Ethete, Wind River and Fort Washakie and in adjacent areas served through the Riverton-Shoshoni-Lander system;

In rural areas along the transmission lines between the Beaver Creek Field and Arapahoe Junction;

In rural areas along the transmission lines designated as “Arapahoe Junction-Winkleman Dome Line”and as “Pilot Butte Field to Winkleman Dome Line”;

In and about the communities of Lost Cabin and Pavillion;

In rural areas along the transmission lines between the Sand Draw Compressor Station in Fremont County and the Casper Service Area in Natrona County;

In the Powder River area in Natrona County;

In the Casper service area consisting of Casper, Mills, Evansville, Mountain View, Midwest Heights, Allendale, Dempsey Acres, Pineview, Red Buttes Village, Paradise Valley, Bar Nunn, Natrona County Airport and the surrounding areas;

Midwest - Edgerton;

In rural areas along the transmission lines between the Casper service area in Natrona County and the Billy Creek field in Johnson County;

Within the communities of Jeffrey City, Rawlins, Sinclair, Saratoga, Medicine Bow, Hanna, Laramie and surrounding areas;

In rural areas along the distribution lateral from Wolcott Junction to Saratoga;

In rural areas along the transmission lines:

from the Sand Draw Compressor Station in Fremont County to Rawlins in Carbon County;

from the Sand Draw Compressor Station in Fremont County to the compressor station near Sinclair in Carbon County;

from Rawlins in Carbon County to Medicine Bow in Carbon County;

from Medicine Bow in Carbon County to Oil Springs in Carbon County;

from Oil Springs in Carbon County to Laramie in Albany County.

SERVICE AREA APPLICABILITY FOR ALL RATE SCHEDULES - CONTINUED

For Casper Division Rate Schedules RCG, TC, FS-1 and MCS: - Continued

In rural areas along the transmission lines of Colorado Interstate Gas Company within Carbon and Albany Counties;

In and about the community of Evansville along the Company’s mainline transmission line.

For Special Provision Customer Group Rate Schedules RCG-3:

In and about the communities of Lost Cabin and Powder River;

Served directly from taps off of Colorado Interstate Gas Company's interstate pipeline.

Division Average Monthly Bill - Current Average Monthly Bill - Beginning March Monthly Change Percentage Change
Residential $46.53 $54.44 $7.91 17.01%
Small General Service 89.40 107.73 18.33 20.50%
Medium General Service 551.83 545.62 (6.21) -1.13%

In and about the communities of Gillette, Newcastle, Moorcroft, Upton and Wright.

Division Average Monthly Bill - Current Average Monthly Bill - Proposed Monthly Change Percentage Change
Residential $47.28 $54.17 $6.89 14.56%
Small General Service 90.44 106.34 15.91 17.59%
Medium General Service 472.69 456.47 (16.23) -3.43%

In and about the communities of Torrington, Glenrock, Douglas, Glendo, Guernsey, Wheatland, Fort Laramie, Lingle, and Lusk;

In and about the community of Evansville along Tallgrass Interstate Gas Transmission LLC's transmission line.

Division Average Monthly Bill - Current Average Monthly Bill - Proposed Monthly Change Percentage Change
Residential $50.18 $54.60 $4.42 8.81%
Small General Service 83.21 94.79 11.58 13.92%
Medium General Service 458.16 506.24 48.08 10.49%

The territory serviced by the Company is the City of Cheyenne, the towns of Burns, Carpenter, and Pine Bluffs, and the Fringe and Rural areas adjacent thereto.

Division Average Monthly Bill - Current Average Monthly Bill - Proposed Monthly Change Percentage Change
Residential $59.91 $61.99 $2.08 3.47%
Small General Service 86.84 98.49 11.65 13.41%
Medium General Service 454.01 465.72 11.71 2.58%

The territory served by the Company is the city of Cody, the town of Meeteetse, the town of Ralston, and the fringe and rural areas adjacent thereto.

Division Average Monthly Bill - Current Average Monthly Bill - Proposed Monthly Change Percentage Change
Residential $43.25 $72.59 $29.34 67.83%
Small General Service 68.61 114.58 45.97 67.01%
Medium General Service 415.49 583.85 186.36 40.52%

The territory served by the Company includes the points of delivery in the portions of the counties of Crook, Weston, Campbell, Johnson and Converse as authorized by the Wyoming Public Service Commission.

Billing and Payment Made Easier

Black Hills Energy has received approval from the Wyoming Public Service Commission to simplify and improve billing and payment options for customers.  

No fee credit and debit card payments

Starting March 1, there will no longer be a processing fee for payments made through Speedpay.

Budget Billing

We are combining our levelized billing options into one program – Budget Billing.

Budget Billing is a free, stable billing plan that results in more predictable bills by averaging the amount you pay each month. The amount you pay will only change if your energy usage changes by 10 percent or more. Learn more at www.blackhillsenergy.com/pay.

Energy Assistance Programs

LIEAP, Federal Energy Assistance- LIEAP is a federally-funded program that helps people pay home heating bills November through May. The program is open to homeowners and renters. It helps cover the costs of electricity, natural gas, propane, wood, diesel heating oil, coal and pellets when these are used for heating a home.

Energy Share of Wyoming- is a private, non-profit organization established to help people in hardship circumstances with energy-related emergencies. It assists people with energy problems when no other resources are available to them and when these problems are caused by circumstances beyond their control.  

Frequently asked questions

The Wyoming Public Service Commission (Commission) regulates all public utilities, including Black Hills Energy. In order to change tariffs and rates for service, Black Hills Energy must request approval from the Commission. Filing for a rate review with the Commission is the standard process for a public utility to recover costs and investments, as well as make changes to its tariffs, or governing documents. Black Hills Energy has followed the Commission’s formal process to adopt new tariffs, and to recover allowable costs and system investments necessary to meet our responsibility to provide safe, reliable natural gas service for our customers.

The four companies being combined are: Cheyenne Light-gas operations, Black Hills Energy, a division of Cheyenne Light, Black Hills Northwest Wyoming Gas Utility Company, LLC, and the Wyoming assets of Black Hills Gas Distribution, LLC.  Black Hills Wyoming Gas, LLC d/b/a Black Hills Energy is the resulting entity following the approval of the consolidation by the Wyoming Public Service Commission.

The approved rate review settlement will streamline policies, procedures and rate structures furthering Black Hills Energy’s ability to deliver the consistent and efficient experience our customers count on.

“This settlement approval is an important step toward simplifying how we operate our natural gas utilities in Wyoming,” said Linn Evans, president and CEO of Black Hills Corp. “This effort will improve customer service and safety and reduce the complexity and number of rate reviews and other regulatory filings.”

Black Hills Energy has invested approximately $150 million, since 2018 for safety, reliability and system integrity for nearly 6,000 miles of transmission and distribution pipeline throughout Wyoming serving 129,500 customers.

These investments have improved safety and reliability by replacing aging infrastructure, while meeting compliance requirements of state and federal regulations. Black Hills Energy is committed to investing in critical infrastructure required to meet system growth needs and ensure the safe and reliable delivery of natural gas to customers’ homes and businesses year-round.

Please see “new rate information,” section above.

Black Hills Energy customers that were previously billed by dekatherm will now be billed for usage in therms, this will result in usage history being reset, with new usage data starting on March 1, 2020.

Yes, Black Hills Energy provides information to customers regarding how to manage their bills and how to seek energy assistance through programs available in Wyoming. 

  • Black Hills Energy is committed to helping customers save energy and money through energy efficiency programs (currently Cheyenne only) and tips. Go to www.bhesavemoney.com to find ways to save money by saving energy, including energy efficiency rebates and tips to reduce energy consumption.
  • Customers can consider joining Black Hills Energy in providing energy assistance through the company’s Black Hills Cares program. Black Hills Energy matches donations from customers and employees to Black Hills Cares, and forwards the funds to Energy Share of Wyoming for distribution throughout the state. Customers can designate one-time or monthly donation(s) to Black Hills Cares on their bill stub, or by going to www.blackhillsenergy.com.
  • For more information about Programs, please see Energy Assistance section, above. 

Black Hills Energy is committed to controlling costs and making responsible investments to deliver safe, reliable energy at a good value.

  • Black Hills Energy has managed costs efficiently.
  • Black Hills Energy implements business processes that improve efficiencies and effectiveness and minimize cost growth.
  • Black Hills Energy manages its assets and resources prudently to provide safe, reliable energy year-round.
  • Black Hills Energy invests in technology that enables efficiency in our work and enhances the customer experience.
  • Energy remains an excellent value. For the typical home, an entire day of energy costs Black Hills Energy customers less than $2.16 per day.

In 2018, Black Hills Energy’s Direct Economic Impact in Wyoming totaled $120 million dollars. This includes franchise fees, contributions, compensation to 410 Wyoming employees, payments to suppliers and property, sales and use taxes paid.   

  • Black Hills Energy supports a strong community by focusing on economic development, assisting community organizations and maintaining a commitment to invest in infrastructure that ensures safe, reliable energy.
  • In 2018, Black Hills Energy Wyoming gave over $284,000 in support of community events and organizations such as chambers of commerce and non-profits.
  • Our annual United Way Campaign has resulted in a BHC Foundation matching contribution of over $16,000 in addition to what our employees have given. These contributions go directly benefit Wyoming communities.

Yes, all customer who are 28 days late with payment will be assessed 5% of the 1st 20.00 + 2% of the remaining past due balance.

Under the former Balanced Billing program, monthly charges were calculated using your average daily cost for the last 12 months multiplied by the number of days in the current bill plus 4 percent deferred balance.  This caused bill amounts to vary from month to month.

Budget Billing is based on your average energy usage during the past year. And your bill will only change if your energy usage changes by 10 percent or more. On your anniversary date, your full account balance will be factored in and your monthly bill will be recalculated.

Budget Billing is a free, stable billing plan. It gives you more predictable bills by averaging the amount you pay each month. That way, you can avoid spikes in your bill caused by seasonal changes in how much energy you use.  Due to the difference in how the new Budget Billing program is calculated, you may notice a difference in your monthly billing amount beginning in March.

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