Black Hills Energy announced a settlement with the Office of Consumer Advocate has been reached in the utility’s rate review request to recover safety, reliability and system integrity investments for natural gas service for its approximately 161,000 customers in 133 communities across Iowa. The settlement results in a $0.20 increase for an average residential monthly bill. Black Hills Energy has agreed to withdraw the System Safety Integrity Rider and High Efficiency Assistance Tool that were initially proposed. The settlement is pending final approval from the Iowa Utilities Board which will be determined before the end of the year.
Black Hills Energy had not sought a base rate increase in Iowa in over a decade, and since then has invested $250 million in its infrastructure in the state. These investments include replacing, upgrading and maintaining more than 2,800 miles of natural gas pipelines and 164,000 system service lines in the state – critical infrastructure required to ensure the safe and reliable delivery of natural gas to customers’ homes and businesses and support the growth needs of local communities.
“Our customers expect safe, reliable and affordable natural gas service in our growing system. To meet those expectations, we have invested, and will continue to invest, in our infrastructure, which features a robust pipeline safety program,” said Shirley Welte, vice president for Black Hills Energy in Iowa. “This change in our service rates enables us to continue our investments and allows us to meet the needs of our thriving Iowa communities.”
If approved, the proposed settlement rates will be implemented on January 1, 2022. Customers who would like information about managing their energy bills should call Black Hills Energy at 888-890-5554 or visit www.blackhillsenergy.com/assistance.