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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  September 1, 2005
CONTACT:  Pamela A. Bonrud, South Dakota Public Utilities Commission, phone (605)773-3201

Rising Natural Gas Prices:  PUC to Host State Fair Meeting

"Rising Natural Gas Prices:  What You Can Do" will be the topic as the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission hosts an informational meeting on September 8 on the DakotaLand Stage at 3:00 p.m. during the State Fair in Huron.

 "Even though it's still warm, now is the time to prepare for a potentially horrible home heating season," said Commissioner Bob Sahr.  "This meeting will let folks know about what heating assistance programs are available, how to make their homes more energy efficient and give us a chance to hear their concerns."

"We expect natural gas prices to be incredibly high this winter.  Even before Hurricane Katrina, we were concerned about the effect rising prices would have on home heating bills.  We still don't know what Katrina's full impact will be, but many analysts believe people will be paying 30% more for gas than they were last year," said Commissioner Dusty Johnson. "The good news is that there are some things each of us can do to manage those costs."

During the informational meeting, community and utility representatives will describe programs that are available for residential heating assistance.  Information presented will also include application forms, winterization techniques for your home, and contact information for community or non-profit assistance groups.  There will also be time for a general question and answer session involving the public, PUC representatives and other meeting participants.

Additional energy efficiency materials will be available at the PUC's booth located in the Expo Building during the State Fair.  Consumers are also encouraged to visit the PUC's Web site at for more information on natural gas prices and energy efficiency and conservation.