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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, Oct. 23, 2009
CONTACT: Leah Mohr, deputy director, South Dakota Public Utilities Commission, (605) 773-3201, (605) 280-4327 or

Energy Smart helps make state among "most improved"

PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota's energy efficiency ranking took a giant leap upward, landing it in the most improved category in a newly released American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy survey. Other states in this category are Delaware, Colorado and Tennessee.

South Dakota moved to 36th from its 47th rank of a year ago, according to the efficiency advocacy organization. This ranking follows several energy efficiency efforts undertaken by the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission and utilities in the state. The study takes into account items such as utility efficiency programs, building codes, and appliance and transportation standards. 

"The Public Utilities Commission and the state's energy providers launched South Dakota Energy Smart in 2007 with the goal of recognizing and promoting energy efficiency," PUC Chairman Dusty Johnson stated. "This initiative was the start of a comprehensive plan to enhance energy efficiency, to the benefit of South Dakotans. This new ranking is evidence that the program is already paying off and gaining support. Although this news is encouraging, we expect the Energy Smart partnership to pay even bigger dividends in the future."

"The Energy Smart partnership has encouraged valuable projects that save both energy and money," according to PUC Vice Chairman Steve Kolbeck. "Our partners are following through with their pledges of two years ago to provide worthwhile energy efficiency programs. Just this week, the commission approved an expanded energy efficiency program offered by one of the state's utilities, providing new options for consumers to save energy."

PUC Commissioner Gary Hanson said, "Energy Smart is a resource for consumers to help them make wise, worthwhile energy choices. We all know fossil fuels are limited, and we must move forward to find other energy sources and efficiencies before these sources are depleted. Smart energy use benefits all of us and our environment. ACEEE's scorecard acknowledges our partnership's efforts, moving us past 11 states in one year."

Partnering organizations included in South Dakota Energy Smart are Black Hills Power, MidAmerican Energy Co., Montana-Dakota Utilities Co., NorthWestern Energy, Otter Tail Power Co., Xcel Energy, Heartland Consumers Power District, Missouri River Energy Services, the South Dakota Municipal Electric Association, the South Dakota Rural Electric Association and the PUC. More than 30 additional South Dakota organizations are supporters of the program. For a complete list of these organizations, go to

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See the South Dakota Energy Smart Pledge:
See the ACEEE announcement: