LINCOLN, AUGUST 25, 2020 – The Nebraska Public Service Commission (PSC) reminds consumers that beginning September 1, 2020, Black Hills Energy will begin charging higher rates for its natural gas customers in Nebraska. The interim rate increase is in conjunction with the company’s rate case (NG-109) currently before the Commission.
On June 1, 2020, Black Hills Energy filed an application with the PSC seeking a $17.5 million
general rate increase. The proposal will increase Black Hills’ fixed customer charges and distribution
charges, the rates regulated by the Commission. State law allows a utility to charge an interim rate during the Commission’s review of the application.
The Commission will hold a hearing on Black Hills’ proposal beginning October 26, to hear evidence from the company, the Public Advocate and the other parties. Customers are represented by the Public Advocate, an attorney with experience in natural gas matters. Lincoln Lawyer Bill Austin is currently serving as the Public Advocate. The Commission has until the
end of January 2021 to rule on the application. If the Commission approves a final rate that is lower than the interim rate, the utility must refund the difference.
Customers will notice that bills are prorated. Because the rate change takes effect on the first of the month, customers may have some usage that occurred before the rate change, billed at prior rates.
“We want to make sure customers know about the general rate increase process currently
underway and alert them to the fact their bill will be going up in the interim,” said Commissioner Dan Watermeier, NG-109 Hearing officer,
Detailed information on the NG-109 Black Hills General Rate Increase application can be found on the Natural Gas Department Main page of the PSC website by clicking on the NG-109 Black
Hills Energy Rate Case
As a part of the rate case application process, and in order to provide information and address questions regarding the potential rate increase, the Commission will hold three virtual Town Hall
meetings . The Town Hall Meetings scheduled for Tuesday, September 22 and Thursday, September 24 will be held virtually due to the ongoing coronavirus public health emergency. A detailed schedule of the Town Hall meetings and information on participating can be found on the PSC website @ https://tinyurl.com/
Commissioner Watermeier said, “By holding town hall meetings virtually over two-days and at various times, it is our hope that consumers interested in participating will be able to do so.”
The town hall meetings will begin with a presentation of by Black Hills Nebraska Gas, followed by a presentation by the Public Advocate. The public will then have the opportunity to ask questions. Questions may also be submitted in advance of the town hall meetings. A link to submit questions can be found on the NG-109 Town Hall Meeting page of the PSC website.
Questions submitted prior to the town hall meetings will be asked during one of the town hall meetings. A recording of the Sept. 24, town hall meeting will be made available when completed on the PSC YouTube channel