The Nebraska Public Service Commission is holding 3 virtual town hall meetings this week on Zoom on a $17.5-million dollar natural gas rate hike request by Black Hills Energy.
Two meetings are today, 9-11:00 AM and 6-8:00 PM MT, with the last Thursday from 1:30-4:30. Commissioner Dan Watermeier, the hearing officer, says the hope is that the different days and times will allow all natural gas customers to take part.
Black Hills began charging the higher rate on an interim basis this month, but the PSC has until the end of January to approve the request, reject it, or approve a smaller increase. A smaller hike would result in customer refunds.
The commission has scheduled a public hearing starting Oct 26, but the virtual town hall meetings today and Thursday will give the public a chance to get information and ask questions so they can submit comments on the rate hike.
Each will begin with a presentation by Black Hills Energy, followed by one from Public Advocate Bill Austin – an attorney with experience in natural gas matters hired by the PSC to represent the public. Questions from the public will then follow.
Questions may be submitted in advance online with a link on the PSC website to the NG-109 Town Hall Meeting page, which has information on how to participate as well as on the rate increase and the approval process
. A recording of the final town hall meeting will be made available when completed on the PSC YouTube channel.