Black Hills Energy requests slight rate increase

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Logo for Black Hills Energy(Black Hills Energy)
Published: May. 7, 2021 at 5:05 PM CDT|Updated: May. 7, 2021 at 5:06 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Black Hills Energy on Friday, May 7, submitted a rate review application to the Kansas Corporation Commission requesting a rate increase and renewal of its Gas System Reliability Surcharge (GSRS) “to continue to fund accelerated, safety-focused pipeline replacement across the state.”

“Kansans deserve safe and reliable natural gas. That’s why we’ve been updating natural gas lines throughout the state to deliver resilient service to our customers,” said Black Hills Energy Kansas General Manager Jerry Watkins. “As a result, we’ve made significant improvements to our system since our last rate review almost seven years ago.”

The company’s proposal would increase the average residential customer’s bill by $2.27 per month, or about 4.5 percent.

As part of the rate review, Black Hills said it “is proposing to provide customers additional benefits from recent federal and state tax reform. The company said it “previously passed along tax benefits on two separate occasions, one beginning in 2018 and one earlier in 2021 to reflect lower federal and state corporate tax rates, which benefitted customers and resulted in over $8 million for customers,”

“Our efficient management and GSRS recovery have allowed us to delay a rate review for many years. This rate review is necessary to continue prioritizing customer needs by completing pipeline safety and reliability system needs under the GSRS that is set to expire,” Watkins said. “This timing also works well for customers to receive tax reform benefits to help offset costs being requested for recovery.”

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