May 13, 2010 4:47 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Black Hills seeks rate hike of 8 to 15 percent

Black Hills Energy plans to seek a rate hike to help it pay for costs of building a $450 million natural gas-fired power plant to serve Pueblo customers. Black Hills currently serves about 93,000 Pueblo-area customers with power from Xcel Energy.

Black Hills CEO David Emery told investors last week the utility would file a request with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission to boost electricity rates 8 to 15 percent beginning in 2012 to help cover plant construction costs.

Black Hills already is seeking a 12.8 percent rate increase to cover operations costs since it purchased Aquila Inc. in 2006. The company estimates the 12.8 percent increase would raise average homeowners' monthly bills by about $10.75.


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