CHEYENNE, WY — Nov. 30, 2021 — Black Hills Energy has received approval from the Wyoming Public Service Commission (WPSC) to continue offering Wyoming customers Energy Efficiency (EE)/Demand Side Management (DSM) programs. The programs are available for residential and commercial electric and gas service customers with the extension beginning Jan. 1, 2022 and continuing through 2024.
The company’s EE/DSM programs are designed to encourage residential and commercial customers to purchase and install energy efficient products and appliances by offering rebates for qualifying purchases. The company proposed some adjustments to the 2022-2024 plan to reflect market shifts and integrate new cost-effective measures.
The timing of the WSPC’s approval of Black Hills Energy’s Energy Efficiency programs could not be better as Black Hills Energy is urging customers to plan now for the impacts of higher natural gas prices this winter. Just as commodity prices are rising globally on many items ranging from the bacon in our breakfast to the cotton in our clothes, the same is true for the increase in market prices for the energy used to warm our homes during the coldest months of the year.
The cost of natural gas is a pass-through cost — meaning Black Hills Energy does not make money on natural gas, even when prices increase. Black Hills Energy estimates that residential natural gas customers should plan for an increase of approximately 43% for the cost of natural gas compared to last winter, based on analysis of typical winter weather, market conditions and current natural gas price forecasts. Actual monthly costs will depend on customer usage.
Customers who live in communities that are eligible to participate in the Choice Gas program will need to contact their natural gas suppliers to determine any impacts from market price increases.
Customer bills (excluding Choice Gas program participants) also include a portion of costs related to February’s extreme cold weather event. In September, the WPSC approved a monthly charge of about $0.17 per therm based on usage. These costs are spread out over a multi-year period to reduce the impact on customers.
In Wyoming, customers who may need help paying their monthly bill can visit our Wyoming payment assistance page for more information.
For more information about energy efficiency or demand side management programs visit www.blackhillsenergy.com/efficiency-and-savings.
Black Hills Energy customers can also consider options like Budget Billing, a payment plan that averages the amount owed each month. This budget option supports customers looking to avoid the seasonal variances in bills by averaging out their usage over a 12-month period. The company also encourages simple, yet effective energy conservation and efficiency tips to help customers prevent energy waste and keep their expenses down throughout the heating season.
Additional payment options are also available to customers as part of the Wyoming Public Service Commission Winter Weather Rule program that began Nov. 1 and ends April 1.
Black Hills Energy is committed to providing the safe, reliable energy that communities need to thrive and is closely monitoring the current and forecasted price and supply of natural gas. For updates on how Black Hills Energy is ready to respond to increased natural gas prices and for more tips on saving energy, visit www.blackhillsenergy.com/winter-ready.
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