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State regulators OK energy efficiency projects

State regulators OK energy efficiency projects

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Two electricity companies that serve South Dakota customers won approval from state regulators Friday for energy-efficiency projects.

The Public Utilities Commission gave Xcel Energy permission to charge special rates for LED street lighting. Xcel is converting to LED technology for streetlights and intends to offer the new rates in 32 communities in South Dakota served by the company.

The monthly rates will be slightly higher. But with lower usage of electricity, the net impact will be savings of 50 cents to 76 cents per month per fixture, according to Xcel’s estimate. That equates to 2 to 4 percent, depending on the wattage.

State regulators also approved Otter Tail Power’s 2016 report on efforts at reducing electricity usage by residential and commercial customers in South Dakota and gave a green light for Otter Tail to continue the program in 2017. 

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