MidAmerican Energy News
MidAmerican Energy Company Marks a Decade of Rate Stability in South Dakota
DES MOINES, Iowa – (Aug. 8, 2014) – After a decade of stability in natural gas delivery rates, and nearly 20 years without an increase in electric base rates, MidAmerican Energy Company has filed applications with the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission (SDPUC) to raise rates to keep pace with rising costs.
“MidAmerican Energy has 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,” said Terry Ousley, vice president, customer satisfaction, MidAmerican Energy. Current electric rates are based on 1995 business-related expenses and natural gas delivery rates are based on 2004 business-related expenses; reasons for the increases include costs to maintain and operate generation and distribution facilities, increases in environmental compliance costs, and investments in generation and distribution infrastructure.
Currently, MidAmerican Energy’s 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 its customers, MidAmerican Energy is 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 will be $9.65.
MidAmerican Energy’s gas service territory continues to grow in South Dakota at an accelerated pace due to the expanding local economy. The company’s net gas investment in South Dakota has increased more than 50 percent since 2004. These investments include the construction of gas distribution system improvements, roadway relocations to accommodate numerous transportation improvements, continued efforts to upgrade existing gas distribution facilities and replacement of cast iron gas systems – all to assure safe and reliable operation in compliance with pipeline safety regulations.
This is MidAmerican Energy’s first request to increase gas delivery rates in a decade. A customer’s gas bill includes a delivery and a supply portion. MidAmerican Energy’s request applies only to the delivery portion of the bill, which includes the costs to deliver gas to a customer’s home or business, maintain the natural gas distribution system and provide customer services. The gas supply charge includes the costs the company pays to purchase gas in the wholesale market. These costs are passed on to customers without any markup.
The proposed delivery rate increase would generate $2.9 million annually, which is needed to support the company’s commitment to provide quality service. It would include recovery of infrastructure investments to enhance the safety and efficiency of the gas delivery system in South Dakota. The average monthly increase for residential customers requested is $1.00 per month, although the actual increase will vary depending on customer usage.
The SDPUC 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, MidAmerican Energy will be permitted to implement the proposed natural gas delivery and electric base rate increases on an interim basis, subject to refund if the proposed increases are not approved. More information can be reviewed at www.midamericanenergy.com/sd_ratecase.com or at the customer offices located at 401 Douglas Street in Sioux City, Iowa, and 1914 S. Sycamore Ave., Suite 110 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
A bill insert is being sent to every South Dakota customer notifying them about the proposed rate cases. MidAmerican Energy offers numerous energy efficiency programs for residential, commercial and industrial customers. Customers interested in reducing their energy usage should call 800-894-9599 or visit www.midamericanenergy.com/ee. MidAmerican Energy customer service associates also are available at 888-427-5632 to assist customers who might be concerned with payment-related issues.
MidAmerican Energy provides natural gas service to customers in Baltic, Beresford, Brandon, Canton, Centerville, Colton, Corson, Dell Rapids, Elk Point, Ellis, Flandreau, Gayville, Harrisburg, Hartford, Lennox, McCook Lake, Meckling, Montrose, Ramona, Salem, Sioux Falls, Tea, Valley Springs, Vermillion, Worthing, and Yankton. The company provides electric service to customers in Fairview and Hudson; the company provides both electric and natural gas services to customers in Alcester, Dakota Dunes, Jefferson and North Sioux City.
MidAmerican Energy Company provides electric service to 739,000 customers and natural gas service to 719,000 customers in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and South Dakota. It is headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa. Information about MidAmerican Energy is available on the company’s website, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube pages, which can be accessed via www.midamericanenergy.com