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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
March 28, 2017, at 9:30 A.M. CDT
Room 414, Capitol Building

Pierre, South Dakota

MINUTES OF THE COMMISSION MEETING

Chairperson: Kristie Fiegen called the meeting to order. Present were: Commissioners: Gary Hanson and Chris Nelson; Commission Attorney: Adam de Hueck; Commission Advisor: Greg Rislov; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards; Staff Analysts: Eric Paulson, Brittany Mehlhaff, Jon Thurber, and Lorena Reichert; Consumer Affairs Supervisor: Deb Gregg; and Staff: Katlyn Gustafson.

Joining the meeting by telephone were:
Mary Zanter, Pipeline Safety Manager; Darren Kearney, staff analyst; William Taylor, Taylor Law Firm, LLC, representing Boomerang Wireless LLC dba enTouch Wireless; Talbot Wieczorek, Gunderson, Palmer, Nelson & Ashmore, LLP, representing Budget PrePay, Inc., dba Budget Mobile; Todd Brink and Jason Keil, Black Hills Power, Inc. dba Black Hills Energy; Brian Rybarik, Benjamin Clark, Naomi Czachura, Diane Votino, Renee White and Diane Noll, MidAmerican Energy Company; and Robin Enkey, Budget PrePay, Inc., dba Budget Mobile.

Administration

1.     Approval of the minutes of the Commission meeting held on March 14, 2017. (Staff: Joy Lashley)

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the minutes of the Commission meeting held on March 14, 2017. Motion carried 3-0.

Consumer Reports

1.     Status Report on Consumer Utility Inquiries and Complaints Received by the Commission (Consumer Affairs: Deb Gregg)

The Commission received a total of 58 contacts since the last report was prepared for the March 14, 2017, Commission meeting.

Nine contacts involved telecommunication services, 12 contacts involved electrical services, six contacts were related to natural gas services, four contacts were related to wireless service, one contact was related to Dakota Access Pipeline, 14 contacts were related to the Do Not Call Registry, and 12 contacts were related to issues not regulated by the PUC.

Complaints received in 2014: 1,914 of the 1,916 have been resolved.

Complaints received in 2017: 370 of the 385 have been resolved.

Electric

*Chairperson Fiegen advised to hear dockets EL17-006 and EL17-008 together.

1.     EL17-006     In the Matter of the Application of Black Hills Power, Inc. dba Black Hills Energy for Approval of 2017 Transmission Facility Adjustment (Staff Analysts: Brittany Mehlhaff, Patrick Steffensen, Jon Thurber; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Mr. Jason Keil, Black Hills Power, Inc. dba Black Hills Energy (BHE), stated BHE had no objection to the 180 days suspension. Ms. Kristen Edwards, staff attorney, recommended that the Commission suspend the imposition of the rates pursuant to SDCL 49-34A-14 for 180 days beyond February 15, 2017.

2.     EL17-007     In the Matter of the Filing by MidAmerican Energy Company for Approval of Tariff Revisions to Its 2016 Transmission Cost Recovery Reconciliation and 2017 Transmission Cost Recovery Factors (Staff Analysts: Eric Paulson, Joseph Rezac; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss) 

Mr. Ben Clark, MidAmerican Energy Company’s (MidAmerican), asked that the Commission approve MidAmerican’s revised TCR rate factors and revised tariff sheet with an effective date of April 3, 2017. Mr. Eric Paulson, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve MidAmerican’s request.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the revised TCR rate factors and revised tariff sheet with an effective date of April 3, 2017.Motion carried 3-0.

3.     EL17-008     In the Matter of the Application of Black Hills Power, Inc. dba Black Hills Energy for Approval of its 2017 Environmental Improvement Adjustment (Staff Analysts: Brittany Mehlhaff, Patrick Steffensen, Jon Thurber; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Mr. Jason Keil, Black Hills Power, Inc. dba Black Hills Energy (BHE), stated BHE had no objection to the 180 days suspension. Ms. Kristen Edwards, staff attorney, recommended that the Commission suspend the imposition of the rates pursuant to SDCL 49-34A-14 for 180 days beyond February 15, 2017.

     In dockets EL17-006 and EL17-008, Commissioner Hanson moved to suspend BHE’s proposed environmental improvement adjustment and transmission facility adjustment for 180 days beyond February 15, 2017.Motion carried 3-0.

Gas and Electric

1.     GE17-001     In the Matter of the Filing by MidAmerican Energy Company for the Approval of Its Reconciliation and Annual Report for 2016 and Revisions to Its Energy Efficiency Cost Recovery Rate (Staff Analysts: Darren Kearney, Lorena Reichert; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

A lengthy discussion took place regarding docket GE17-001. An audio of the discussion can be found on the PUC website under Commission Actions, Commission Meeting Archives, 2017, March 28, 2017, recording located at: http://puc.sd.gov/commission/media/2017/puc03282017.mp3.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to approve the 2016 reconciliation amounts and the 2016 performance incentive and approve the changes to the Energy Efficiency Cost Recovery Factors and tariff sheets, with an effective date of April 3, 2017.Motion carried 3-0.

Natural Gas

1.     NG17-004      In the Matter of the Filing by MidAmerican Energy for Approval of Tariff Revisions regarding Excess Flow Valves for Existing Service Lines Factors (Staff Analysts: Eric Paulson, Joseph Rezac; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss) 

A lengthy discussion took place regarding docket NG17-004. An audio of the discussion can be found on the PUC website under Commission Actions, Commission Meeting Archives, 2017, March 28, 2017, recording located at: http://puc.sd.gov/commission/media/2017/puc03282017.mp3.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the Excess Flow Valves fee to be paid entirely by the requesting customer and associated tariff sheet with an effective date of April 14, 2017. Motion carried 3-0.

Telecommunications

1.     TC12-125     In the Matter of the Application of Budget PrePay, Inc., dba Budget Mobile for Designation as a Lifeline-only Eligible Telecommunications Carrier in Non-Rural Areas (Staff Analyst: Eric Paulson, Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

A lengthy discussion took place regarding docket TC12-125. An audio of the discussion can be found on the PUC website under Commission Actions, Commission Meeting Archives, 2017, March 28, 2017, recording located at: http://puc.sd.gov/commission/media/2017/puc03282017.mp3.

     Commissioner Fiegen deferred the docket to a later Commission meeting.

There being no further business, at the hour of 10:44 a.m., the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission meeting adjourned.

/s/Joy Lashley     .
Joy Lashley
Administrative Assistant
PUC Email
March 28, 2017