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4-Traders Homepage  >  Equities  >  Nyse  >  Black Hills Corp    BKH

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Black Hills Corp : ENROLLMENT FOR 2012-13 NEBRASKA ANNUAL PRICE OPTION BEGINS SEPT. 4

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08/27/2012 | 05:00pm CET
ENROLLMENT FOR 2012-13 NEBRASKA ANNUAL PRICE OPTION BEGINS SEPT. 4

New this year is enrollment is only online or by phone

LINCOLN, Neb., Aug. 27, 2012 - Annual enrollment for Black Hills Energy's 2012-13 Nebraska Annual Price Option program will begin Sept. 4 on a first come, first-served basis and remain open until Oct. 4 or the 14,000- customer enrollment limit is reached, whichever occurs first.

With the APO program, the customer's price for natural gas, what customers are charged per "therm," is set for the one-year contract period, November 2012 through October 2013, regardless of changes in the national market price of natural gas. "Therms" are the billing unit Black Hills Energy uses.
Participation in the APO program is voluntary. Customers who do not want to be on the APO program do not need to do anything and will be charged the "traditional billing" per-therm price for natural gas.
Black Hills purchases a designated supply of natural gas each year specifically for the APO program, which is the reason for the enrollment cap.
This year, enrollment for Nebraska residential customers of Black Hills Energy will only be online at www.annualpriceoption.com, or by phone Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 800-753-7509. Customers who sign up are required to stay on the program for one year unless they move out of Black Hills Energy's Nebraska service territory.
"APO provides price certainty for customers who select this year's APO price and like knowing that - regardless
of what the future market price is for natural gas - the gas price they'll pay for one year will not change," said Don
Nordell, Black Hills Energy Nebraska business operations director.
There's an abundance of natural gas supply in the natural gas market, resulting in lower rates for the 2012-13 APO program than the current APO program which began last November and ends Oct. 31. Traditional billing natural gas prices for the last 12 months have ranged from $0.33351 per therm (rate area 1, May 2012) to $0.62266 per therm (rate area 3, March 2012).

APO and traditional billing natural gas price comparison

Black Hills

Energy rate area

Partial listing of communities served

2012-13 APO natural gas price* per therm (Nov. 1,

2012-Oct. 31, 2013)

2011-12 APO natural gas price* per therm (Nov. 1,

2011-Oct. 31, 2012)

Current (August

2012) traditional billing natural gas

price* per therm

1

Bellevue, Blair, Gretna, La Vista, Papillion, Plattsmouth, Ralston, Valley and Waterloo

$0.46431

$0.57765

$0.44463

2

Lincoln, Walton and

Cheney

$0.47153

$0.59105

$0.45492

3

All other areas, including Auburn,

$0.48537

$0.64193

$0.49195

- more -
Black Hills Energy
Page 2

Aurora, Beatrice, Columbus, Fairbury,

Norfolk, Seward, Wayne and York

* In addition to the actual natural gas supply cost, all customer bills include Black Hills Energy's delivery charge (identified as

"Base Rate" on the monthly Black Hills Energy bill) of $0.195 per therm of natural gas, and other fees and taxes approved by the Nebraska Public Service Commission. The total bill is subject to the Gas Cost Reconciliation (identified on the Black Hills Energy monthly bill as "GCR") per-therm charge.

Natural gas costs, itemized on the bill as "PGA," or "purchased gas adjustment," are the largest portion of a customer's bill, but Black Hills Energy does not earn any profit from that portion of the bill. The price the company pays for natural gas is the price customers are charged and pay.
With traditional billing, the natural gas price typically changes monthly depending on the national natural gas market price. Bills for traditional rate customers also increase or decrease monthly due to how much gas is used in addition to gas market price changes. While APO customers are billed the same gas price each month for a year, locking in one variable of the bill, APO monthly customer bills will also still increase or decrease based on the amount of natural gas used.
Black Hills Energy's Nebraska service territory is divided into three rate areas; natural gas prices vary slightly between rate areas as a result of differences in interstate pipeline carrier costs to transport natural gas to the rate areas.
Customers choosing the APO may combine it with the company's Budget Billing that takes seasonal peaks out of a customer bill for a more even monthly payment.
###

ABOUT BLACK HILLS ENERGY

Black Hills/Nebraska Gas Utility Company, LLC d/b/a Black Hills Energy serves 196,000 natural gas customers in
106 eastern Nebraska communities. Black Hills Energy is a subsidiary of Black Hills Corp., a diversified energy company with a tradition of exemplary service and a vision to be the energy partner of choice. Black Hills Corp. is based in Rapid City, S.D., with corporate offices in Denver and Papillion, Neb. Black Hills Corp. serves 765,000 natural gas and electric utility customers in Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming, and its non-regulated businesses generate wholesale electricity and produce natural gas, oil and coal. Black Hills' 2,000 employees partner to produce results that are improving life with energy. More information is available at www.blackhillscorp.com.

Media Contact:

Bob McKeon

402-943-9143

Black Hills Media Relations Line

866-243-9002

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