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BHP Files Two Rate Plans With SDPUC

Black Hills Power has filed two rate plans with the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission.  With the proposed rate plans customers in South Dakota can expect to see an increase in their energy bills.  Officials say the rate increase is to recover rising costs and to upgrade aging infrastructure.

Chuck Loomis is the Vice President of Operations for Black Hills Power.  He says the company has invested over 52-million dollars to maintain reliable service to customers so the rate increase is a necessity.

“The first revenue increase that we’ve had in three years and that would be to recover system investments and other operating costs that have been increasing over the past three years.  The second plan or second part of the request relates to our need to retire three coal-fired generating plants and replace them with a new natural gas-fired generating plant,” says Loomis.

Loomis says the cost increase for the new generating plant actually results in customers paying less over the life of the new plant than they otherwise would.  Loomis adds that according to the proposal customers will see an increase of about seven dollars per month, or about twenty-four cents a day.  As filed, the new rates are expected to go into effect April 1, 2013.