In South Dakota, the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) regulates the energy, telecommunications, and grain warehouse companies located in the state. The PUC aims to serve the public interest by improving the quality and effectiveness of public utility regulation. The PUC ensures that utility companies in South Dakota provides safe reliable service at fair and reasonable rates.
Further, the PUC also regulates investor-owned electric, natural gas, and telephone utilities. However, the PUC’s has only a limited regulatory role with respect to wireless communication companies and cooperative, independent, and municipal utilities.
The services offered by the PUC can be classified as:
- resolving disputes with investor-owned electric, natural gas, and telephone service providers through PUC’s consumer affairs staff;
- providing information about energy efficiency, consumer protection, and making wise utility choices; and
- providing guidance and referrals in case of difficulty in paying utility bills.
Similarly, the PUC through its electric utility 10-year plan requires the electric utility companies to submit their 10-year plans to PUC. The submitted plan should give a summary on the company’s operation of existing and future planned energy conversion facilities and transmission facilities.
In addition, the Energy Management Office of South Dakota (Office) regulates the state’s energy purchases, efficient use of energy, and energy management programs in the state. The Office implements the South Dakota State Energy Plan which is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.
Further, the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources (SD DENR) provides for the protection of public health, conservation of natural resources, protection of the environment, and the promotion of economic development. The Oil and Gas Section established under the Minerals & Mining Program of the SD DENR Division of Environmental Services regulates the environment in a customer service oriented manner. In addition, the section also promotes the development of oil and gas resources in a manner that will prevent waste and encourage the greatest economic recovery of oil and gas.