South Dakota regulators will consider refunds for Otter Tail electricity customers

Capitol News Bureau
KELO Money

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota customers who buy electricity from Otter Tail Power could see a one-time reduction on their bills later this year.

The Fergus Falls, Minnesota-based utility company must give back part of the extra money it’s been receiving since last fall.

The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission is scheduled to decide Tuesday, June 25, whether to accept the plan.

Otter Tail wants to refund an average of $20.63 per residential customer. The refund would appear on customers’ October bills.

Company officials outlined the details in a June 21 filing with the South Dakota commission: “Each customer’s interim rate refund will be based on actual usage during the interim period of October 18, 2018, through July 31, 2019. The average interim refund factor is 19.051 percent.”

Otter Tail has approximately 11,700 customers in its South Dakota rate territory.

The company filed for rate increases in April 2018. On October 18, Otter Tail began charging an additional 10.1 percent while the commission considered the request.

The commission granted an overall 7.09 percent increase May 28 and ordered Otter Tail to submit a refund plan.

Because other adjustments were made too, each class of customers will have different rate increases.

For example, residential rates will climb 8.49 percent to about $10.6 million, while general service goes up 7.98 percent to about $7.4 million, and large general service rises 4.73 percent to more than $13.8 million.

Valley Queen Cheese Factory in Milbank might be Otter Tail’s largest purchaser of electricity in South Dakota. There are 10 classes of customers.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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