Annual Price Option
Pay the same rate for natural gas all year
The Annual Price Option (APO) program provides Nebraska customers the option to choose the security of a fixed natural gas rate rather than a variable rate during a select period.
The 2023-24 APO Program began on Aug. 15 and ended Oct. 9, or after 14,000 customers were enrolled and runs Nov. 1, 2023 through Oct. 31, 2024.
If you’ve signed up for this year’s program and would like to see more details, log in to your online account and navigate to your dashboard page. If you do not have an online account, you’ll need to create your account first to register.
How it works
Earlier this summer, we purchased a supply of natural gas for the APO program. Customers who choose the APO billing option will pay that price for natural gas for one year, from Nov. 1, 2023, through Oct. 31, 2024. While your bill will vary each month based on how much gas you use, you’ll pay the same rate for that gas all 12 months.
Customers who don’t participate will pay our traditional rate, where the gas prices fluctuate monthly based on market changes. This rate may be lower or higher than the fixed APO rate.
Regardless of the billing option you choose, we pass the cost of gas on to you without markup or discount. All bills still include delivery charges, other fees, including the 2021 Polar Vortex, as approved by the Nebraska Public Service Commission and local and state taxes. See the terms and conditions below for details.
The APO natural gas price for Nov. 1, 2023, through Oct. 31, 2024, (identified as “PGA” on your monthly energy bill) is listed below.
|2023-24 APO natural gas price per therm*
(Nov. 1, 2023 - Oct. 31, 2024)**
|2022-23 APO natural gas price per therm*
(Nov. 1, 2022 - Oct. 31, 2023)**
- September 2023*
(Traditional billing natural
gas price per therm)**
Why are natural gas prices higher than previous years?
Natural gas demand, led by exports and increased power generation is outpacing supply. These factors have affected natural gas market rates, including the APO program rate.
Why is there a cap on APO enrollment?
The APO program helps customers manage their natural gas costs and better control their personal budget. To serve the natural gas needs of each of our customers, Black Hills Energy’s gas supply team purchases natural gas from several competitive sources on a continuous basis. As a benefit to customers, Black Hills Energy made an additional, limited supply purchase of natural gas specifically for the APO program earlier this summer when natural gas prices are typically low. Our Buyers factor in historical gas usage, predicted weather over the winter period, and apply other industry factors. However, even after incorporating a variety of information to purchase gas supply for the APO program, it is difficult to predict and procure the exact amount of natural gas needed to serve the varying demand of our customers. In addition, it would be too expensive to customers if Black Hills Energy purchased fixed priced natural gas packages for all of Black Hills Energy’s customers, even if those gas supply packages are available in the natural gas marketplace. Accordingly, Black Hills Energy limits enrollment in the APO program. In 2023 we increased enrollment in the APO program to 14,000 from 12,000 the previous year to better meet higher interest in the program.
Terms and conditions
- Participation in the 2023-24 APO program is limited to the first 14,000 customers who sign up on or before Oct. 9, 2023. Customers participating in the current APO program (2022-23) must re-enroll to participate in the 2023-24 program.
- Customers enrolled in the 2023-24 APO program after Oct. 2, 2022, are required to remain on APO for the entire one-year term, beginning with the November 2023 bill, unless they move out of Black Hills Energy’s Nebraska service territory. APO customers who move within Black Hills Energy’s Nebraska service territory will assume the APO rate for that area. APO customers moving to a Black Hills Energy service territory outside Nebraska will assume the traditional sales service there. APO customers moving out of a Black Hills Energy service territory will receive a final bill, due upon receipt. Customers considering APO should weigh having a fixed natural gas rate with APO against traditional sales service, with monthly natural gas prices that can fluctuate and could possibly be lower than the APO gas price.
- Customers who use Black Hills Energy’s eBill, Budget Billing and Recurring Bank Transfer services may also sign up for APO. Budget Billing’s annual true-up still applies, as do other conditions.
- In addition to the natural gas supply cost, all customer bills include Black Hills Energy’s delivery charge (identified as “Base Rate” on the monthly Black Hills Energy bill), customer charge, and other fees and taxes approved by the Nebraska Public Service Commission. The total bill is subject to the Gas Cost Reconciliation (identified on the Black Hills Energy monthly bill as “GCR”) per-Therm charge.
- To assure the program is revenue-neutral to Black Hills Energy, the difference between Black Hills Energy’s total program costs compared to the total amount billed to all APO customers for the prior July-June 12-month period will be factored into the “GCR” (Gas Cost Reconciliation) amount for the following year.
- All customer bills, including those for customers who sign up for APO, will still increase or decrease based on the amount of natural gas used each month.
- All Nebraska customers are subject to any Nebraska Public Service Commission-approved charges, fees, taxes and/or adjustments including the 2021 Polar Vortex Fee of $0.16586.