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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
July 7, 2015, at 9:30 A.M. CDT
Room 413, Capitol Building
Pierre, South Dakota


Chairman Chris Nelson called the meeting to order. Present were: Commissioner: Gary Hanson; Commission Counsel: John Smith; Staff Attorneys: Karen Cremer, Kristen Edwards, Adam de Hueck; Staff Analysts:  Brian Rounds, Darren Kearney, Eric Paulson; Brittany Mehlhaff, and Patrick Steffensen; Consumer Affairs Supervisor: Deb Gregg; and Staff: Katlyn Gustafson.

Also present were:
Jason Grenier, Brenda Sandahl, Alecia LeRoy, Greg Anderson, and Jon Fabre, Otter Tail Power Company; Kevin Nelson, self; and Kelly Nelson, self.

Joining the meeting by telephone were:
Commissioner: Kristie Fiegen; Charlene Hager, Northern Electric Cooperative, Inc.; and Kara Semmler, May, Adam, Gerdes and Thompson, LLP, representing Dakota Access, LLC.


1.      Approval of the minutes of the Ad Hoc Commission meetings held on May 14, May 19, June 15, and June 16, 2015 (Staff: Joy Lashley)

     Commissioner Hanson moved to approve the minutes of the Ad Hoc Commission meetings held on May 14, May 19, June 15, and June 16, 2015  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 49 contacts since the last report was prepared for the June 23, 2015 Commission meeting.

6 contacts involved telecommunication services, 11 contacts involved electrical services, 2 contacts involved natural gas service, 5 contacts were related to wireless service, 1 contact was related to the Do Not Call Registry, 4 contacts were related to the Dakota Access Pipeline, 12 contacts were related to the Keystone XL Pipeline, 1 contact was related to Wind Energy and 7 contacts were related to issues not regulated by the PUC.

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

992 of the 1,011 complaints received in 2015 have been resolved.


1.      EL15-016     In the Matter of the Filing by Otter Tail Power Company Regarding Its 2014 Report and 2015 Energy Efficiency Plan Update and Proposed Energy Efficiency Plan for 2016 (Staff Analyst: Darren Kearney; Staff Attorneys: Karen Cremer, Adam de Hueck)

A lengthy discussion took place regarding docket EL15-016. An audio of the discussion can be found on the PUC website under Commission Actions, Commission Meeting Archives, 2015, July 7, 2015, recording located at:

     Commissioner Hanson moved to approve Otter Tail’s 2014 Energy Efficiency Plan Status Report and approve Otter Tail’s requested financial incentive allowance of $105,445 and approve Otter Tail’s proposed Energy Efficiency Partnership Cost Recovery Rider of $0.00152/kWh with an effective date of August 1, 2015, and approve extending the 2014-15 Energy Efficiency Plan, and the annual budgets therein, through 2016.  Motion carried 3-0.

2.      EL15-023     In the Matter of the Petition for Electrical Service by Dakota Access, LLC to have NorthWestern Energy Assigned as its Electric Provider in the Service Area of Northern Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Staff Analysts: Patrick Steffensen, Eric Paulson; Staff Attorney: Adam de Hueck)

Ms. Kara Semmler, May, Adam, Gerdes and Thompson, LLP, representing Dakota Access, LLC (Dakota Access), stated Dakota Access had no objections to Northern Electric Cooperative, Inc.’s (Northern Electric), request for intervention.  Mr. Adam de Hueck, staff attorney, recommended that the Commission grant intervention to Northern Electric.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to grant intervention to Northern Electric Cooperative, Inc. Motion carried 3-0.

There being no further business, at the hour of 9:49 a.m. the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission meeting adjourned.


/s/Joy Lashley               .
Joy Lashley
Administrative Assistant
PUC Email
July 7, 2015