Rapid City, S.D.-based utility Black Hills Energy released Thursday (July 27) its 2022 sustainability report that provides updates on its climate goals, economic impact and charitable giving in Arkansas. The company’s total economic impact was $1.34 billion, including more than $120 million in 100 Arkansas communities.
The company has a goal to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions for its gas utilities by 2035 and is working to do this through infrastructure investment, damage prevention and integration of low-carbon fuels.
“We are pleased to share our progress to create a cleaner energy future for our customers while also demonstrating the many ways Black Hills Energy is making a positive impact in our communities,” said Marc Eyre, vice president of operations for Arkansas and Kansas. “We have set challenging yet realistic goals for delivering cleaner energy with a clear path to reduce our emissions while minimizing cost impacts to our customers. Our sustainability report provides insight and transparency into our values-driven priorities.”
For a PDF of the 47-page report, click here. Following are some of the 2022 highlights:
- Established Green Forward program allowing customers to voluntarily offset their natural gas carbon footprint. Created Black Hills Energy Renewable Resources to build experience in renewable natural gas and natural gas asset operations.
- Provided $6.1 million in community support, including more than $758,000 for United Way agencies and more than $760,000 for its energy assistance fund, which includes a 100% match for customer and employee contributions. Black Hills Energy gave $532,000 in charitable contributions and sponsorships in Arkansas, and its Arkansas employees volunteered more than 4,400 hours.
- Gave nearly $9 million in energy efficiency rebates to residential and business customers, leading to annual energy savings of about 17 million kilowatt-hours of electricity and 386,000 dekatherms or million British thermal units of natural gas. This is enough energy to power over 2,300 homes with electricity and about 4,900 homes with natural gas for a year.
For the fifth consecutive year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency gave the company the 2023 Energy Star Partner of the Year Award for its Arkansas service territory. This was the third year it received the program’s highest honor with a Sustained Excellence designation.
Black Hills Energy serves more than 1.3 million natural gas and electric utility customers in eight states, including Arkansas.