South Dakota regulators grant Otter Tail refund plan

Capitol News Bureau
KELO Money

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Most South Dakota customers who buy electricity from Otter Tail Power can expect credits on their October bills.

The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission approved the company’s refund plan Tuesday.

The Fergus Falls, Minnesota-based company has about 11,700 customers in South Dakota.

The refunds will average about $19 per residence, according to Otter Tail.

The company began charging South Dakota electricity customers about 10 percent more in October, while the state commission considered rate increases.

The commission eventually approved an average rate increase of about 7 percent.

The 7 percent takes effect August 1.

Commissioner Chris Nelson asked about the 198 sheets of tariff changes that arrived Monday.

“I’ve gone through it, but I can’t tell you I’ve gone through it with a fine-tooth comb,” he said.

Commission analyst Brittany Mehlhaff said staff members worked with the company’s personnel. She said that other changes had been reviewed earlier.

Commissioner Kristie Fiegen noted that Otter Tail filed for the increased rates in April 2018. “This has been a relatively long rate case and it went over a year,” Fiegen said.

She said the company was “being consumer friendly” by agreeing to provide refunds for the full period rather than going back only one year as state regulations require.

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