Black Hills Energy customers get refund after tax cuts

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – South Dakota regulators have approved an agreement with Black Hills Energy to refund about $7.7 million to customers in 2018 as a result of last year's federal tax cuts.

The state Public Utilities Commission voted Tuesday to accept the settlement agreement, which also includes a roughly $9 million base rate reduction starting in January 2019. This year's refund is expected to be a roughly $50 credit in October for an average residential consumer.

Commission Chairwoman Kristie Fiegen says the move gives stability to ratepayers and will have a "real impact on families." It comes after the commission in July approved an agreement to refund roughly $10.9 million to Xcel Energy customers in South Dakota because of the tax cuts.

The commission says rate discussions are ongoing with several other companies.