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Black Hills Energy receives backlash, proposed rate increase for LED street lights & customer bills

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PUEBLO -

A proposed rate increase from Black Hills Energy is making some Pueblo City Council members pretty upset. 
 
The Pueblo city manager says the proposal from Black Hills Energy is to double the annual charge for the city's LED street and traffic lights. The city manager says it would cost the city an additional $1 million. 

Council members say the proposal was announced at their meeting last week taking a lot of them by surprise. 

They say the reason Black Hills Energy is doing this is because the company isn't making enough in revenue. 

The council says if the proposal is approved the city's own budget would be at stake. 

Pueblo City Council Vice President Ed Brown said, "I don't think we're getting as much as we should get and then for this to totally wipe it out is a big deal." 

On Monday, a Black Hills Energy spokesperson told News 5 the actual cost for the LED street lights increase would be $338,000 for the city. 

It's part of the company's Phase 2 Regulatory Rate Review proposal. 

If the proposal is approved monthly bills for customers would also increase.

Black Hills Energy says the plan is to "appropriately allocate among customer groups the revenue that was approved by the PUC in December 2016 as part of its Phase 1 filing. The proposed changes to customer bills must be approved by the PUC and are revenue-neutral, meaning they would not result in any additional revenue for Black Hills Energy."

The Pueblo city manager says the Public Utilities Commission is reviewing the proposal with hearings to come. 

Black Hills Energy says any changed in bills wouldn't happen until March of next year. 
 

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