Federal tax cuts spelled relief for South Dakota utility customers

Capitol News Bureau
KELO power outage

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The federal tax cut that Congress passed for businesses two years ago has led to millions of dollars in relief to thousands of South Dakota electricity and natural-gas customers.

The state Public Utilities Commission required the companies it regulates to share the benefits after the tax rate was cut to 21 percent from 35 percent.

Commissioners approved the final company’s plan Tuesday.

MidAmerican Energy will reduce its rates by nearly $360,000 for electricity customers and $1.2 million for gas customers. 

MidAmerican’s customers also will start seeing six months of refunds rolled out starting in July.

Those will total about $3.3 million for gas customers and about $1 million on electricity.

Other companies that gave back money were Black Hills Energy, Montana-Dakota Utilities, NorthWestern Energy, Otter Tail Power and Xcel Energy.

The commission reviewed and approved each of their plans.

Commissioner Kristie Fiegen opened the docket in December 2017. She praised the commission’s staff Tuesday.

“This is the bow, the icing on the cake. This is our last one,” Fiegen said. “That’s a big savings for our families.” 

Refunds by the six companies totaled $28.8 million, according to analyst Brittany Mehlhaff. She said rate reductions by Black Hills Energy, MDU and MidAmerican totaled $10.5 million.

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