PSC Cuts Black Hills Energy Natural Gas Rate Hike By $6.6-M

       The Nebraska Public Service Commission has granted Black Hills Energy a $10.7-million dollar general rate hike for natural gas customers, roughly $6.6-million less than the company had requested.

        Black Hills Energy had begun billing at the higher rate in October, so customers will be getting a refund for the difference between what they paid under the interim rate and the new approved rate.

      The company will file a refund plan with the PSC for review and approval. Such refunds are generally applied as reductions on monthly bills over several months. This refund is expected to begin by June

        Black Hills filled the application for the rate hike on June 1, starting a process that saw PCS staff conduct an independent assessment with the company presenting its case and the PSC Public Advocate arguing for ratepayers.

      The PSC held 3 virtual town hall input meetings in September, followed by a formal hearing in October and negotiations between the company and commission staff. The result was the $10.7-million rate increase agreement.

         PSC Chairman Dan Watermeir says the commission thanks everyone who participated in the rate case process, which resulted in what he describes as “a balanced agreement that is good for both the company and the ratepayers.”