Public Service Commission Hearing On Black Hills Energy Natural Gas Rates Begins Wednesday

The Nebraska Public Service Commission begins the formal public hearing today on a $17.5-million dollar natural gas rate hike request by Black Hills Energy. 

       The hearing, originally scheduled to start Monday, opens at 1:00 CT in the Commission hearing room in Lincoln and online. It will run through Friday.

      The rate hike doesn’t involve the actual cost of natural gas, just the costs of getting that gas to the customer. Black Hills wants to increase its flat fixed monthly customer charges and its distribution charge.

      The utility is already charging the higher rate on an interim basis, but the PSC has until the end of January to either approve the request, reject it, or approve a smaller increase. A smaller hike would result in customer refunds.

       The public hearing does not allow testimony from the general public, but is instead limited to Black Hills Energy, the Public Service Commission’s Public Advocate, and interested parties already approved by the commission.

        The commission held 3 virtual town hall meetings on the natural gas rate hike month to inform the public and take comments on the Black Hills Energy request.