MidAmerican Energy seeks to raise rates in South Dakota to pay for system investments, future projects

(KCRG)
Published: May. 19, 2022 at 10:49 AM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - MidAmerican Energy officials say the company is asking state regulators in South Dakota to approve a natural gas rate increase to support the investment of more than $100 million in its natural gas distribution system in the state.

If approved, the request filed Wednesday with the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission would be the first rate increase since the company’s last request in 2014, according to a press release from MidAmerican.

The proposed adjustment addresses the approximately $108 million in capital investment and operating expenses incurred to maintain and upgrade natural gas infrastructure used to serve customers since the last rate increase. In addition to supporting recent natural gas system improvement costs, the request also includes funding for planned infrastructure and safety improvements over the next two years.

Overall, the company is requesting a 6.4% rate increase, which would increase revenue by approximately $7 million annually. MidAmerican says the request would raise residential customer gas rates by an average of $4.16 per month or $49.87 per year.

“This rate adjustment will help us continue to provide safe natural gas service that our South Dakota customers rely on,” Nick Nation, MidAmerican Energy vice president of gas delivery, said. “We understand that any increase affects our customers, who have also been impacted by higher nationwide energy supply prices. However, this is necessary to help us serve rapidly growing areas in South Dakota, ensure we can continue to invest in safety enhancements, and it reflects our rising costs to provide a critical service.”

MidAmerican serves approximately 104,000 natural gas customers in 30 southeastern South Dakota cities, including Sioux Falls, Yankton and Vermillion. The company maintains more than 1,500 miles of larger gas mains in the state and 1,300 miles of smaller gas service lines that connect directly to customers.

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