Skip to main content
Colorado rates and regulatory information

Colorado electric

Tariff and regulatory documents

A tariff is a group of schedules filed with our regulatory commissions. Tariffs contain basic rates, supplemental rates or riders, and general terms and conditions for providing utility service.

The rates don’t apply to a residence used for commercial, professional or business activities. But if the domestic use can be separately metered from the business activities, then these rates would apply to the domestic part.

We consider a single-family dwelling one in which four sleeping rooms or more are rented or are available for rent as non-domestic, and the applicable general service rate applies.

Filings and adjustments

On May 8, 2020, we filed an application at the Colorado Public Utilities Commission for the approval of our first Transportation Electrification Plan, or TEP. This was our first TEP required by Colorado Senate Bill 19-077, and if approved, will be effective for three years until the end of 2024. 

We designed our TEP to encourage transportation electrification while minimizing costs and giving our customers the power to shape what the electric vehicle industry in southern Colorado. The TEP consists of 4 major parts: 1) customer education and outreach, 2) rebates on EV charging equipment, 3) new rates for EV charging, and 4) classifying EV charging equipment as permanent load for the purposes of line extensions. To avoid customer confusion with a new line on customer bills, we have proposed to streamline the cost-recovery of the TEP by combining it with our Demand Side Management Cost Adjustment.  We estimate that an average residential customer will see their monthly bill increase approximately 0.24%, or $0.19 in 2022, $0.21 in 2023, and $0.24 in 2024. We estimate that an average Small General Service customer will see their monthly bill increase 0.24%, or $0.71 in 2022, $0.77 in 2023, and $0.87 in 2024.

On May 29, 2020, we filed Advice Letter No. 787 at the Colorado Public Utilities Commission. The ECA rate is updated quarterly (February, May, August, and November) and is applicable to all retail customers. The ECA is a pass-through charge. The ECA recovers energy related costs incurred, such as fuel and purchased power costs, to meet customers’ energy needs. These costs incurred by the Company are strictly pass-through in nature.

The proposed ECA rate is $0.0345 per kWh which, if approved, is to be prorated to bills for all kilowatt-hour usage beginning July 1, 2020. The proposed ECA rate is a $0.00262 per kWh decrease from the current ECA rate of $0.03714 per kWh. Appendix A provides the applicable tariff sheet, Appendix B provides a redlined version of the applicable tariff sheet and Appendix C provides the calculation support for the proposed ECA rate.

The primary reasons for the decrease in the ECA rate are described below:

  1. Estimated Generation and Purchased Power Costs – Estimated Generation and Purchased Power Costs decreased $4,672,065 from $69,622,435 to $64,960,370 for the period July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021. For the forecasted period of July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021the Company forecasted an average fuel cost of $2.13 per MMBtu. Conversely, for the prior ECA filing, the Company forecasted an average fuel cost of $2.99 per MMBtu. The Company revised the $/MMBtu forecasts in order to more align with actual market conditions.
  2. Recovery True-up – The current ECA rate includes a ($4,777,645) over-recovery as of January 30, 2020 and the proposed rate reflects a ($5,921,807) over-recovery as of April 30, 2020. The over-recovery position increased $1,144,162 as a result of actual revenues being higher than actual costs for the February 2020 – April 2020 period.

If permitted to go into effect on July 1, 2020, the tariff revisions will decrease annualized revenues by approximately $5.6M. Based on this proposed decrease, the average residential customer monthly bill, under Rate Schedule RS-1 with an average usage of 600 kWh per month, will decrease $1.63 from $100.41 to $98.78, or 1.62%. The average small commercial customer monthly bill decrease, under Rate Schedule SGS-N with an average usage of 2,300 kWh per month, will decrease $6.27 from $326.90 to $320.63, or 1.92%.

You may view the filed documents here:

On April 1, 2020, we filed Advice Letter No. 786 at the Colorado Public Utilities Commission. The DSMCA rate is updated semi-annually (April and October) and is applicable to all retail customers. The principal purpose of this filing is to revise the DSMCA calculation to reflect the 2019 Financial Disincentive Offset, the 2019 Performance Incentive, to true0up any over or under collection of costs in 2019, and to delete Financial Disincentive Offset and Performance Incentive language from Tariff Sheet Nos. 69 and 69A that related to the 2016 – 2018 DSM Plan and that is no longer applicable to the current Plan.

The 2019 DSM program was the first program year of the Company’s approved 2019 – 2021 portfolio, and the tenth program year for Black Hills. The Company obtained energy savings of 15,726,087 kWh in 2019 (at the meter), which represents 65% of the program’s goal for the 2019 program year. In addition, the Company obtained demand savings of 3,089 kW, which represents 75% of the demand goal. To obtain those savings, the Company spent approximately $5.186 million, or 79% of its budget. Moreover, under the Modified Total Resource Cost Test (mTRC), the cost-effectiveness of the portfolio was 2.18. A detailed annual report of the 2019 DSM Plan results is filed in Proceeding No. 18A-0279E.

Per Tariff Sheet Nos. 69 and 69A, the Company collects a calculated Financial Disincentive Offset and Performance Incentive if the Company achieves an energy savings at or above 80% of the program year’s kWh energy savings. As stated earlier, the Company achieved 65% of its 2019 energy savings goal per the Plan. Since the energy savings amount obtained is below the threshold of 80%, the Company will not collect a Financial Disincentive Offset nor a Performance Incentive for the 2019 program year.

The updated DSMCA rate is 1.98%, factoring in the 2019 cost true-up and no achieved Financial Disincentive Offset or Performance Incentive. This is an increase of 0.16% from the existing DSMCA rate of 1.82% approved in Proceeding No. 19AL-0521E. The primary reason for the increase in the DSMCA rate is attributable to the 2019 cost true-up. The program cost true-up increased $812,373; thus, increasing the DSMCA rate from 1.82% to 1.98%.

If permitted to go into effect on July 1, 2020, the tariff revisions will result in increased annual revenues of approximately $370,359. Based on the proposed increase, the average residential customer monthly bill, under Rate Schedule RS-1 with typical usage of 600 kWh per month, will increase $0.16 from $100.25 to $100.41, or 0.16%. The average small commercial customer monthly bill, under Rate Schedule SGS-N with typical usage of 2,300 kWh per month, will increase $0.52 from $326.38 to $326.90, or 0.16%. Large commercial and industrial customers may call Black Hills Energy at (719)-546-6410 to obtain information concerning how the request tariff amendments may affect them.

You may view the filing documents here:

On February 27, 2020, we filed Advice Letter No. 785 at the Colorado Public Utilities Commission. The ECA rate is updated quarterly (February, May, August, and November) and is applicable to all retail customers. The ECA is strictly a pass-through charge. The ECA recovers costs incurred by the Company for natural gas used in the production of electricity, for costs associated with renewable energy production, and/or for wholesale power purchased on the open market by the Company to meet customers’ energy needs. These costs incurred by the Company are strictly pass-through costs.

The principal purpose of this filing is to amend the ECA rate consistent with the Company’s tariff as approved by Commission Decision No. C13-0794 in Proceeding No. 12AL-1052. Additionally, Advice Letter No. 785 continues the calculation of the ECA based on the annual forecast method that was approved in Proceeding No. 19AL-0043E.

The proposed ECA rate is $0.03714 per kWh, which if approved, is to be prorated to bills for all kilowatt-hour usage beginning April 1, 2020. The proposed ECA rate is a $0.00040 per kWh increase from the current ECA rate of $0.03674 per kWh. Appendix A provides the applicable tariff sheet. Appendix B provides a redlined version of the applicable tariff sheet, and Appendix C provides the calculation support for the proposed ECA rate.

The primary reason for the increase in the ECA rate is described below:

  1. Net RESA Transfer – Net RESA Transfer for the period April 2020 – March 2021 increased $4,208,348, or 42.43%, from $9,917,747 to $14,126,095. The $4,208,348 increase in the Net RESA Transfer forecast encompasses $4,168,088 of Busch Ranch II incremental costs now being added into the forecast and the same amount of incremental benefit is being applied to the RESA, since coming online on November 26, 2019. The incremental benefit being applied to the RESA will lower the deferred balance. Advice Letter No. 785 is the first ECA filing that incorporates the added costs to the ECA. These added costs, partially offset by an increase in purchased power and generation costs, increase the ECA.

If permitted to go into effect on April 1, 2020, the tariff revision will increase annualized revenues by approximately $1.67M. Based on this proposed increase, the average residential customer monthly bill, under Rate Schedule RS-1 with an average usage of 600 kWh per month, will increase $0.25, from $100.00 to $100.25, or 0.25%. The average small commercial customer monthly bill, under Rate Schedule SGS-N with an average usage of 2,300 kWh per month, will increase $0.95, from $325.43 to $326.38, or 0.29%.

You may view the filed documents here:

What you need to know about the annual Transmission Cost Adjustment (TCA)

On Nov. 1, 2019, Black Hills Energy filed its annual Transmission Cost Adjustment (“TCA”). The TCA is a monthly surcharge on all customers’ bills to pay for the costs of maintaining and improving the high-voltage transmission system that ensures the safe, reliable delivery of energy across our southern Colorado service territory.

The TCA is updated on an annual basis to allow Black Hills to recover construction costs incurred the previous year for projects related to our transmission towers and structures, high-voltage transmission lines, and substations – critical infrastructure necessary for carrying high-voltage electricity quickly and efficiently to the lower voltage distribution system that serves homes and businesses.  

The 2020 TCA rate will be $0.002860 per kilowatt-hour (kWh). Based on this rate, the average residential customer monthly bill would see an increase of 49 cents, going from $100.92 per month to $101.41 per month. The average small commercial customer monthly bill would see an increase of $1.89, from $328.86 per month to $330.75 per month.  The 2019 TCA rate will be in effect from Jan. 1, 2020 through Dec. 31, 2020.

On November 22, 2019, we filed Advice Letter No. 782 at the Colorado Public Utilities Commission. The principal purpose of this filing is to update the Energy Payment rate in the Company’s Colorado Rules Tariff, P.U.C. No. 11, Sheet No. R36. The Energy Payment rate is also referred to as the Avoided Cost rate or the Average Hourly Incremental Cost of Electricity. The Avoided Cost rate is applicable to go-generation and small power production facilities as well as some net metered customers. However, there are currently no co-generation or small power production facilities on the Company’s system. The Avoided Cost rate is the rate paid to net metered customers for any accrued excess energy production produced during the most recent calendar year if they elect the annual “cash-out” method rather than rolling the excess kWh over as a usage bill credit to the next year. This net metering payment methodology is consistent with Commission Rule 3664(b). This amended Avoided Cost rate is proposed to become effective January 1, 2020.

The proposed Avoided Cost rate is $0.02810 per kWh, which if approved, will become effective January 1, 2020. The proposed Avoided Cost rate is a $0.00728 per kWh, or 34.96%, increase from the current Avoided Cost rate of $0.02082 per kWh currently in effect. Based on previous net metering “cash-out” payments, the Company anticipates incurring approximately an additional $10k due to the increased Avoided Cost rate. The “cash-out” payments are funded through the Company’s Renewable Energy Standard Account (“RESA”). The proposed amendment has no effect on the Company’s annual revenues, if approved.

In preparing this Avoided Cost calculation, the Company conducted a review of all the costs incurred by each generating unit to determine if the costs are variable or fixed. The Company determined that the Fired Hour Charges (“FHC”) and the Variable Operations and Maintenance (“VOM”) expenses incurred by Pueblo Airport Generating Station (“PAGS”) Units 4 &5 are variable. These costs were not previously included in the Avoided Cost calculation. Additionally, the Company is now including variable gas transportation costs, as these costs vary dependent upon the dispatchability of the units.

As a result of the inclusion of FHC, VOM, and transportation charges in this calculation, historical year-over-year costs increased from $38.42M to $51.50M. Specifically, the Company has now included approximately $9.77M of FHC and VOM charges in the Avoided Cost calculation, as they were incurred for the 12-month period October 2018 through September 2019. Additionally, the Company included approximately $3.81M in gas transportation charges in the calculation for the same time period, that were previously not included in the calculation.

You may view the filed documents here:

Black Hills Colorado Electric, LLC (the “Company”) has filed with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (“PUC”) to establish its fixed bill credits for subscribers in community solar gardens beginning on January 1, 2020.  The Company’s filing was submitted on November 15, 2019 and was assigned Proceeding No. 19AL-0641E. 

Bill credits are paid by the Company to each subscriber based on their share of the actual output (in kilowatt-hours) of a community solar garden.  Specifically, the payment is a credit on the subscriber’s regular monthly bill.  The credit is calculated by multiplying the subscriber's share of the electricity production from the community solar garden by the approved fixed bill credit.  Where a subscriber's credit exceeds the subscriber's electric bill in any billing period, the credit shall be carried forward and applied against future bills.

A subscriber’s right to bill  credits for community solar gardens is codified in Colorado statutes (C.R.S. § 40-2-127).  The use of a class average calculation methodology was ordered in PUC Decision No.  R17-0039 for non-residential accounts.

Fixed bill credits, as filed by the Company, are shown below.

Class Subclass Current CSG Fixed Bill Credit per kWh Proposed 2020 CSG Fixed Bill Credit per kWh $ Difference Percentage Change
Residential Regular $0.1179 $0.1221 $0.0042 3.54%
Residential Other $0.1625 $0.0970 $(0.0655) -40.33%
Small General Service Non-Demand $0.1472 $0.1252 $(0.0220) -14.96%
Small General Service Demand $0.1094 $0.1006 $(0.0088) -8.03%
Large General Service Secondary $0.0949 $0.0869 $(0.0080) -8.43%
Large General Service Primary $0.0947 $0.0829 $(0.0118) -12.43%
Large Power Service Secondary $0.0662 $0.0621 $(0.0041) -6.13%
Large Power Service Primary $0.0634 $0.0687 $0.0053 8.39%
Large Power Service Transmission $0.0817 $0.0719 $(0.0098) -12.00%
Irrigation Pumping $0.0992 $0.1207 $0.0215 21.71%

The Company's filing documents are available for viewing here:

On November 15, 2019, we filed Advice Letter No. 780 at the Colorado Public Utilities Commission. The principal purpose of this annual filing is to amend the Company’s PCCA tariff sheet to reflect incremental purchased capacity-related costs.

The PCCA recovers the incremental cost of purchased capacity above the level of purchased capacity costs included in base rates. This PCCA filing represents the incremental purchased capacity costs for the period January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2019. The proposed PCCA rate is $0.00082/kWh for Residential and Energy Only customers, $0.00074/kWh for Small General Service customers, $0.18641/kW for large General Service customers, and $0.26166/kW for Large Power Service customers.

If permitted to go into effect on January 1, 2020, the tariff revisions will result in increased annualized revenues of approximately $225,591, as compared to the 2019 PCCA rates that are currently in effect. Based on the proposed PCCA rates, the average residential customer monthly bill, under Rate Schedule RS-1 with an average usage of 600 kWh per month, will increase $0.03, from $101.46 to $101.49, or 0.03%. The average small commercial customer monthly bill, under Rate Schedule SGS-N with an average usage of 2,300 kWh per month, will increase $0.24, from $333.90 to $331.14, or 0.07%.

You may view the filed documents here:

Appendix A

Appendix B

Customer Notice

PCCA Advice Letter

PCCA Motion for Approval of Alternative Form of Notice

On August 30th, 2019, we filed Advice Letter No. 775 at the Colorado Public Utilities Commission. The ECA rate is updated quarterly (February, May, August, and November) and is applicable to all retail customers. The ECA is strictly a pass-through charge. The ECA recovers costs incurred by the Company for natural gas used in the production of electricity, for costs associated with renewable energy production, and/or for wholesale power purchased on the open market by the Company to meet customers’ energy needs. These costs incurred by the Company are strictly pass-through costs.

The principal purpose of this filing is to amend the ECA rate consistent with the Company’s tariff as approved by Commission Decision No. C13-0794 in Proceeding No. 12AL-1052. Additionally, Advice letter No. 775 continues the calculation of the ECA based on the annual forecast method that was approved in Proceeding No. 19AL-0043.

The proposed ECA rate is $0.03913 per kWh, which if approved, is to be prorated to bills for all kilowatt-hour usage beginning October 1, 2019. The proposed ECA rate is a $0.00186 per kWh decrease from the current ECA rate of $0.04099 per kWh. Appendix A provides the applicable tariff sheet. Appendix B provides a redlined version of the applicable tariff sheet, and Appendix C provides the calculation support for the proposed ECA rate.

The primary reasons for the decrease in the ECA rate are described below:

  1. Recovery True-up – The current ECA rate includes a $4,749,611 under-recovery and the proposed rate reflects a $1,792,250 under-recovery from the period May 2019 – July 2019. The under-recovery position decreased $2,957,361 from $4,749,611 to $1,792,250 as a result of recoveries being higher than actual costs for the May 2019 – July 2019 period.
  2. Estimated Sales – Estimated Sales for the period October 2019 – September 2020 increased 17,694,400 kWh, or 0.88%, from 2,018,785,394 kWh to 2,036,479,794 kWh. The increase in kWh sales decreases the ECA rate.

If permitted to go info effect on October 1, 2019, the tariff revision will decrease annualized revenues by approximately $3.07M. Based on this proposed decrease, the average residential customer monthly bill, under Rate Schedule RS-1 with an average usage of 600 kWh per month, will decrease $1.16, from $102.08 to $100.92, or 1.13%. The average small commercial customer monthly bill, under Rate Schedule SGS-N with an average usage of 2,300 kWh per month, will decrease $4.44, from $333.30 to $328.86, or 1.33%.

View the filed documents below:

On November 27, 2019, we filed Advice Letter No. 783 at the Colorado Public Utilities Commission. The Energy Cost Adjustment (“ECA”) rate is updated quarterly (February, May, August, and November) and is applicable to all retail customers. The ECA is strictly a pass-through charge. The ECA recovers costs incurred by the Company for natural gas used in the production of electricity, for certain costs associated with renewable energy production, and/or for wholesale power purchased on the open market by the Company to meet customers’ energy needs. These costs incurred by the Company are strictly pass-through costs.

The principal purpose of this filing is to amend the ECA rate consistent with the Company’s tariff as approved by Commission Decision No. C13-0794 in Proceeding No. 12AL-1052E. Additionally, Advice Letter No. 783 continues the calculation of the ECA based on the annual forecast method that was approved earlier this year in Proceeding No. 19AL-0043E.

The proposed ECA rate is $0.03674 per kWh which, if approved, is to be prorated to bills for all kilowatt-hour usage beginning January 1, 2020. The proposed ECA rate is a $0.00239 per kWh decrease from the current ECA rate of $0.03913 per kWh. Appendix A provides the applicable tariff sheet. Appendix B provides a redlined version of the applicable tariff sheet, and Appendix C provides the calculation support for the proposed ECA rate.

The primary reasons for the decrease in the ECA rate are described below:

  1. Recovery True-up – The current ECA rate includes a $1,792,250 under-recovery as of July 31, 2019 and the proposed rate reflects a ($3,273,222) over-recovery from the period August 2019 – October 2019. The under-recovery position decreased $5,065,472 from $1,792,250 to ($3,273,222) as a result of recoveries being higher than actual costs for the August 2019 – October 2019 period.
  2. Estimated Sales (kWh) – Estimated Sales for the period January 2020 – December 2020 increased 57,369,100 kWh, or 2.82%, from 2,036,479,794 kWh to 2,093,848,894 kWh. The increase in kWh sales decreases the ECA rate.

If permitted to go into effect on January 1, 2020, the tariff revisions will decrease annualized revenues by approximately $2.75M. Based on this proposed decrease, the average residential customer monthly bill, under Rate Schedule RS-1 with an average usage of 600 kWh per month, will decrease $1.49, from $101.49 to $100.00, or 1.47%. The average small commercial customer monthly bill, under Rate Schedule SGS-N with an average usage of 2,300 kWh per month, will decrease $5.71, from $331.14 to $325.43, or 1.72%.

You may view the filed documents here:

Colorado natural gas

Tariff and regulatory documents

A tariff is a group of schedules filed with our regulatory commissions. Tariffs contain basic rates, supplemental rates or riders, and general terms and conditions for providing utility service.

More information

Filings and adjustments