BHE Going Up Tues, PSC Public Hearing In Oct

 Black Hills Energy natural gas rates will go up in Nebraska on Tuesday as part of a request to the Nebraska Public Service Commission for a $17.5-million dollar general rate increase.

       The commission has until the end of next January to approve the request, reject it, or approve a smaller increase. A smaller hike would result in Black Hills refunding the difference already paid by customers.

       The PSC has scheduled a public hearing on the rate hike starting Oct 26 with testimony and evidence from Black hills Energy, Commission Public Advocate Bill Austin, and other parties. 

       Before the hearing, the commission is holding a trio of virtual Town Hall meetings, two on Sept 22nd and one on the 24th to provide the public with information on the rate case and answer questions about it.

      Commissioner Dan Watermeier, the hearing officer for the Black Hills case, says the PSC hopes that holding the town hall meetings on 2 different days and at different times will allow all natural gas customers who want to take part to do so.

       Each of the town hall meetings will begin with a presentation by Black Hills, followed by one from the Public Advocate, and then public questions. Questions may be submitted in advance online with a link on the Public Service Commission website to the NG-109 Town Hall Meeting page.

       The page also has detailed information on the rate increase request and the process it follows, along with a schedule of the meetings and information on participating. A recording of the final town hall meeting will be made available when completed on the PSC YouTube channel.