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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
April 10, 2017, at 10:30 A.M. CDT
Room 413, Capitol Building
Pierre, South Dakota

NOTE: If you wish to join this meeting by conference call, please contact the Commission at 605-773-3201 by 5 p.m. CDT on Friday, April 7, 2017. Lines are limited and are given out on a first come, first served basis, subject to possible reassignment to accommodate persons who must appear in a proceeding. Ultimately, if you wish to participate in the Commission Meeting and a line is not available, you may have to appear in person. 

NOTE:  To listen to the Commission Meeting live please go to the PUC’s website and click on the LIVE link on the home page. The Commission requests persons who will only be listening to proceedings and not actively appearing in a case listen via the web cast to free phone lines for those who have to appear.  The Commission meetings are archived on the PUC’s website under the Commission Actions tab. Click on “Commission Meeting Archives,” to access the recordings.

NOTE: Notice is further given to persons with disabilities that this Commission meeting is being held in a physically accessible place. If you have special needs, please notify the Commission and we will make all necessary arrangements.



1.     Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Meeting Held on March 28, 2017 (Staff: Joy Lashley)

Consumer Reports

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


1.     AA17-001     In the Matter of Clarification of the Commission’s ETC Certification Process (Staff Analyst: Lorena Reichert; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Previously, in Docket TC13-027, the Commission waived certain ETC requirements, including its June 1, 2013, deadline, in light of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) new annual reporting requirements. The Commission voted to waive the June 1 deadline as set forth in ARSD 20:10:32:52 and allow ETCs to file their annual certification petitions on or before July 1. With respect to ARSD 20:10:32:54(1), the Commission found that if an ETC is filing a five-year plan with the FCC and the Commission, that ETC is not required to file a two-year plan pursuant to the Commission’s rule. All other ETCs must continue to file their two-year plans. With respect to ARSD 20:10:32:54(2), the Commission found that all ETCs are still required to file progress reports on their previously filed service quality improvement plans; however, the minor differences in this provision as compared to the FCC’s similar progress report provision are waived. With respect to ARSD 20:10:32:54(4) and (5), the Commission waived the portions of these subdivisions that are not consistent with the federal requirements. With respect to ARSD 20:10:32:54(8) and (9), the Commission waived these requirements in their entirety. On March 26, 2014, the South Dakota Telecommunications Association filed a letter seeking clarification to confirm that the previous Order remains in effect and will be deemed applicable to the 2014 state ETC certification process. At its April 16, 2014, meeting, the Commission clarified that the terms of its previous order are still in effect and are applicable to the 2014 ETC certification process. At its March 31, 2015, meeting, the Commission clarified that the terms of its previous order were still in effect and are applicable to the 2015 ETC certification process. At its May 12, 2015, meeting, the commission ordered that carrier shall include their most recent FCC 477 submission data in electronic spreadsheet format, where applicable, when carriers file their annual requests for ETC certification. At its May 24, 2016, meeting, in AA16-002, the Commission clarified that the terms of its previous orders were still in effect and are applicable to the 2016 ETC certification process. On March 21, 2017, Staff filed a letter opening this docket and requesting clarification as to how the companies should proceed in 2017.

     TODAY, shall the Commission continue with the waivers and the deadlines as were established for 2016, including continuing with the filing of the FCC Form 477 data as was required in 2016? OR, how shall the Commission proceed?

2.     AA17-002     Establishment of the Gross Receipts Tax Levy for the 2018 Fiscal Year (Finance Manager: Cindy Kemnitz)

SDCL Chapter 49-1A establishes the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Gross Receipts Tax Fund (Fund). This Fund is financed by assessing a tax on the annual intrastate gross receipts received by a utility. The Fund is used by the Commission to defray regulatory expenses related to the regulation of telecommunications, electricity, and natural gas. On April 1 of each year, all utilities and telecommunications companies doing business in South Dakota shall file with the Commission, on forms provided by the Commission, the amount of its gross receipts derived from customers within South Dakota during the preceding calendar year pursuant to SDCL 49-1A-4. The report shall be sworn to and verified by an officer of the company. The Commission shall, by order, establish the rate and assess the tax authorized in SDCL 49-1A-3 which, together with any funds remaining from the current fiscal year and the two hundred fifty dollar minimum gross receipt tax, will fund the Commission’s budget for the next fiscal year and provide a contingency reserve in an amount not to exceed the prior year’s budget. In accordance with SDCL 49-1A-5, the tax is due and payable on July 15 of each year. On March 31, 2017, staff filed a letter requesting a docket be opened in this matter.

     TODAY, shall the Commission establish the rate and assess the Gross Receipts Tax as authorized in SDCL49-1A-3?


1.     EL16-018     In the Matter of the Petition of Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy for Approval of Its 2015 Demand Side Management Report and 2017 Proposed Demand Side Management Plan (Staff Analyst: Darren Kearney; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

On March 29, 2017, Xcel Energy (Xcel) filed a letter requesting authority to release 2017 Demand Side Management (DSM) Plan budget dollars towards a residential customer rebate for a ground source heat pump. Xcel received the ground source heat pump rebate application on January 8, 2017, for a unit that was installed in November of 2016. Through its order dated December 12, 2016, the Commission found that the ground source heat pump program was not cost effective and removed ground source heat pumps from Xcel’s 2017 DSM Plan. Since there is not a budget for ground source heat pumps in Xcel’s 2017 DSM Plan, the company requests that the Commission approve the release of 2017 DSM Plan dollars for the ground source heat pump rebate.

     TODAY, shall the Commission grant Xcel the authority to release 2017 DSM program dollars for a residential ground source heat pump rebate?

2.     EL17-013     In the Matter of the Request by The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society for a Variance from the Individual Metering Requirement in ARSD 20:10:26:03 for a 50 Unit Project in Rapid City, SD (Staff Analyst: Darren Kearney; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

On March 1, 2017, the Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society filed a letter regarding a gas and electric master metering exception at a new 50-unit building for low income elderly housing in Rapid City, S.D. After reviewing the letter, Commission Staff concluded that the project plans met the exception set forth in ARSD 20:10:26:04(6) for gas service and that the project plans indicate that the project may be required to have individual metering pursuant to ARSD 20:10:26:03. Therefore, on March 8, 2017, Commission staff opened a docket to process an individual metering variance request for electric service at the Good Samaritan’s building. Since the building meets the exception for gas service, the approval of a variance is not required for gas service. 

     TODAY, shall the Commission grant a variance from the individual metering requirements in ARSD 20:10:26:03 for electric service at the Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society’s new 50-unit building for low income elderly housing  in Rapid City, S.D.?

One Call

1.     OC16-006       In the Matter of the Complaint Filed by Montana Dakota Utilities Co., Rapid City, South Dakota, Against Jeremy Nehl, Rapid City, South Dakota, for an Incident Occurring on March 31, 2016, at 6740 Prestwick Rd. Rapid City, S.D. (One Call Executive Director: Larry Janes; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

On May 13, 2016, Montana Dakota Utilities Co. (MDU), filed a complaint against Jeremy Nehl for One Call violations. The One Call Enforcement Panel met on July 29, 2016, and determined a violation occurred. The Panel recommended a $1,000 penalty with $250 suspended under specified circumstances for the March 31, 2016, violation. The recommendation was accepted by both parties, and on December 9, 2016, the South Dakota One Call Board issued an Order adopting the Enforcement Panel Recommendation to pursue any rights it has under the law regarding collection. The Public Utilities Commission has not received payment in this matter. The Board sent a demand letter for payment of the unsuspended amount of $750 on January 10, 2017. No response or payment was received.

     TODAY, shall the Commission bring an action in the name of the State of South Dakota pursuant to SDCL 49-7A-28 for the collection of the penalty? 


1.     TC13-035     In the Matter of the Application of Boomerang Wireless LLC dba enTouch Wireless for Designation as an Eligible Telecommunications Carrier (Staff Analyst: Eric Paulson; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

On April 22, 2013, Boomerang Wireless, LLC d/b/a enTouch Wireless filed its Application for Designation as an Eligible Telecommunications Carrier for the Limited Purpose of Offering Wireless Lifeline Service to Qualified Household (Low Income Only). On June 4, 2013, South Dakota Telecommunications Association (SDTA) was granted intervention. On November 14, 2014, Boomerang filed an amendment to its application to remove the rural areas of the state and only include only the non-rural areas of South Dakota in this application. This amendment allowed the parties to proceed on the rural and non-rural areas in separate docket proceedings. On July 15, 2016, Boomerang filed an updated amended application for service in the non-rural areas.

     TODAY, shall the Commission grant Boomerang’s Amended Application for Designation as an Eligible Telecommunications Carrier for purposes of receiving federal Lifeline universal service support with respect to non-rural areas including non-rural tribal areas?

2.     TC17-008     In the Matter of the Filing by Broadvox-CLEC, LLC for Approval of Revisions to its Switched Access Services Tariff No. 1 (Staff Analyst: Patrick Steffensen; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

On March 15, 2017, the Commission received a filing from Broadvox-CLEC, LLC (Broadvox) requesting approval of revisions to its Tariff No. 1, Pages No. 1, 60, 61, 62, and 63. The proposed tariff revision filing is done to updates several of the Switched Access diagrams and the accompanying language. Broadvox requests an effective date of March 15, 2017.

     TODAY, shall the Commission approve Broadvox-CLEC, LLC’s revisions to its Tariff No. 1?

Items for Commission Discussion


  1. Commissioners will attend the Central Electric Cooperative annual meeting at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, April 6, 2017, at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, S.D.

  2. An evidentiary hearing in Docket EL16-021 – In the Matter of the Complaint by Consolidated Edison Development, Inc. against NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy for Establishing a Purchase Power Agreement is scheduled for April 11-14, 2017, beginning at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, April 11, 2017, in Room 413 at the State Capitol Building, Pierre, S.D.

  3. The PUC office will be closed for regular business on Friday, April 14, 2017.

  4. Commissioners will attend the afternoon session of the South Dakota Water and Wastewater Association 2017 Annual Wastewater Seminar on Wednesday, April 19, 2017, beginning at 1:30 p.m. CDT at the Red Rossa Italian Grille in Pierre, S.D.

  5. Commissioners will attend the Center for Public Utilities’ Current Issues Forum, April 23-27, 2017, at the Eldorado Hotel, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

  6. The next regularly scheduled commission meeting will be Thursday, April 27, 2017, at 9:30 a.m. CDT in Room 413 at the State Capitol Building, Pierre, S.D.

  7. Commission meetings are scheduled for May 9 and 23, 2017.


/s/Cindy Kemnitz       .
Cindy Kemnitz
Finance Manager
PUC Email
April 3, 2017