Rates

South Dakota Proposed Rate Cases

After a decade of stability in natural gas delivery rates, and nearly 20 years without an increase in electric base rates, we are proposing an electric base rate increase and a natural gas delivery rate increase to keep pace with rising costs.

South Dakota Electric Customers

Currently, our total retail electric rates are the lowest nationally, at an average of 5.62 cents per kilowatt-hour, and are approximately 46 percent lower than the national average for investor-owned utilities. In order to best serve our customers, we are proposing an overall electric base rate increase of approximately $1.6 million annually. If approved, rates in South Dakota will remain well below the national average. Although the exact dollar amount will vary depending on a customer’s electric usage level, the approximate average monthly increase for a residential customer using an average amount of electricity will be $9.65 per month. This marks the first increase in electric rates since 1995.

If approved, this change will impact electric customers in Alcester, Dakota Dunes, Fairview, Hudson, Jefferson and North Sioux City.

South Dakota Natural Gas Customers

The gas service territory continues to grow in South Dakota at a rapid pace due to the expanding local economy. Our company’s net gas investment in South Dakota has increased more than 50 percent since the last rate case in 2004. These investments include the construction of gas distribution system improvements, relocations to accommodate numerous roadway improvements, continued efforts to upgrade existing gas distribution facilities, and replacement of cast iron gas systems – all to assure reliable operation and compliance with pipeline safety regulations. The proposed delivery rate increase would generate $2.9 million annually, which is needed to support the company’s commitment to provide quality service. The average monthly increase for residential customers requested is $1 per month, although the actual increase will vary depending on customer usage.

If approved, this change will impact natural gas customers in Alcester, Baltic, Beresford, Brandon, Canton, Centerville, Colton, Corson, Dakota Dunes, Dell Rapids, Elk Point, Ellis, Flandreau, Gayville, Harrisburg, Hartford, Jefferson, Lennox, McCook Lake, Meckling, Montrose, North Sioux City, Ramona, Salem, Sioux Falls, Tea, Valley Springs, Vermillion, Worthing and Yankton.

Approval Process

The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission has final authority to review and approve both rate proposals. If the SDPUC does not make a ruling within six months of the application date, we will be permitted to implement all or part of the proposed rates on an interim basis without cost-of-service changes and subject to refund if the proposed increases are not approved.

Information about existing rate schedules for South Dakota can be accessed from the Overview page.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. When was the last electric base rate increase?
    • South Dakota electric customers have experienced nearly 20 years of rate stability as we have not raised electric base rates since 1995.

      Between 1995 and 2012, we invested millions of dollars in improvements that were managed by the company without increasing base rates. Some of the improvements customers have seen as a result include investments in wind energy generation to serve customers, and new substations and distribution facilities to serve southern Union County and growth in North Sioux City.
  2. Why is the company seeking an electric rate increase now?
    • South Dakota electric customers have experienced nearly 20 years of rate stability; this increase is necessary to keep pace with rising costs. The Consumer Price Index increased by nearly 56 percent during this time, yet we are requesting an increase of 13.8 percent.
  3. When was the last natural gas rate increase?
    • The most recent natural gas delivery rate increase was in 2004. The Consumer Price Index increased by nearly 26 percent during this time, yet we are requesting an increase of only 3.5 percent.
  4. Why is the company seeking a natural gas rate increase now?
    • We have worked hard to keep costs low in our gas delivery system and only considered raising prices when it became necessary. After nearly a decade of stability, this increase reflects the current costs of providing safe and reliable natural gas distribution service to our customers. In customer surveys, respondents tell us that in addition to low prices, they want a gas delivery system that is safe and reliable and a company which offers prompt, high-quality service. This rate adjustment is needed to help meet our customers’ expectations.
  5. What will the additional money be used for?
    • Rates are based upon a representative level of current costs. We have a strong track record of customer satisfaction, safety, and commitment to communities, emergency response and rate stability. The electric and natural gas rate increases are necessary to reflect the current costs of providing safe and reliable service to our customers’ homes and businesses.

      We have experienced increases in costs associated with environmental compliance related to U.S. regulation and energy delivery, and have experienced general cost escalation since the last electric and natural gas increases.

      We remain committed to being a low-cost energy provider, controlling expenses, and helping customers save money by using energy efficiently.
  6. What is the delivery charge on my natural gas bill?
    • Delivery rates involve the cost to bring natural gas from interstate natural gas pipelines to your home or business. A customer’s bill includes of a delivery charge and a supply charge. The gas supply charge includes the costs the company pays to purchase gas in the wholesale gas market. These costs fluctuate throughout the year and are passed on to customers without any markup.
  7. Will my budget billing amount increase because of the rate case?
    • Budget billing is designed to ease fluctuations in monthly bills. It is one of our most popular programs. We are not adjusting budget billing amounts at this time for any anticipated rate increase in South Dakota. A budget billing amount is typically reviewed every three months and can be reviewed every six months or annually at a customer’s request. During the review process, we will recalculate your average monthly cost by taking projected energy costs into consideration and factoring in your budget balance - the difference between the amount billed and the cost of energy used - to determine the appropriate monthly budget amount.
  8. How can I lower my bills?
    • There are two things that primarily impact the amount of your monthly bill; the quantity of energy used and the price charged. We have a number of energy efficiency programs available to help you use less energy while maintaining the comfort level in your home or business. You also can lower your bill by implementing small measures like using LED bulbs, turning off lights when you leave a room and using a programmable thermostat. MidAmerican Energy's top 10 energy saving tips offer a good starting point for your efficiency efforts.
  9. Why do you have energy efficiency programs? Don’t you want me to use more energy?
    • Energy efficiency programs help customers control their bills, improve the comfort of their homes and businesses, and help the environment by decreasing energy use.
  10. When will I see the increase on my bill?
    • The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission has final authority to review and approve the rate proposal. Rates will take effect within 30 days of the final order. If the SDPUC does not make a ruling within six months of the application date, we will be permitted to implement all or part of the proposed rates on an interim basis without cost-of-service changes and subject to refund if the proposed increases are not approved.
  11. Do these requests impact MidAmerican Energy’s Illinois, Iowa or Nebraska customers?
    • The filings are limited to South Dakota customers only.
  12. Where can I find out more about this filing and register comments?
Questions?
Contact us at:
  • Residential customers: 888-427-5632
  • Business customers: 800-329-6261