A letter from our president and CEO
At Black Hills Energy, we are privileged to serve electricity and natural gas to more than 1.27 million customers in eight states - across hundreds of miles - and in the small towns, rural communities and growing cities we call home. We live alongside our customers, as part of their community and part of their success, and we’ve done so for 135 years.
Building on this legacy of service, we remain focused on meeting our customers’ energy needs and expectations while being mindful of the broader economic, social and environmental impacts of our business – critical factors that work together to ensure our shared success.
Our 2018 Corporate Responsibility Report provides insight and transparency into Black Hills Energy - the values that guide us, the business strategies that strengthen and sustain us, and the value we create for our customers, communities, shareholders and employees.
We are Ready.
To serve: We are committed to ensuring the safe, reliable delivery of electricity and natural gas to our customers’ homes and businesses and the communities we serve. To do so, we consistently invest in maintaining, replacing and upgrading our critical infrastructure, activities which lead to improved efficiency, safety and positive environmental benefits. Our five-year capital investment program calls for the deployment of $2.8 billion to ensure the safety, reliability and integrity of our extensive electric and natural gas systems while serving our expanding customer base. Incorporated in this investment on behalf of our customers is $128 million in new utility-scale renewable energy projects in Colorado and Wyoming to satisfy our customers’ growing demand for renewable energy options.
To help our communities thrive: We sustain our communities by providing the vital energy needed to grow, by providing jobs and benefits to our employees, by paying taxes, through community giving and by purchases made to maintain and upgrade our vast network of electric and natural gas system infrastructure. In 2018, our direct economic impact totaled more than $1 billion.
To empower our team: Safety is one of our company values and a top priority in all we do. We are committed to being the safest utility company in the nation and we work tirelessly to reflect this dedication and focus. Over the past 11 years, we have reduced workplace injuries by more than 74 percent and continue to see long-term, sustained improvements in our safety practices and performance.
To grow shareholder value: We have a strong track record of delivering solid, long-term financial results. In 2018, we reported earnings per share from continuing operations, as adjusted, of $3.54, a 5.4 percent increase compared to 2017.* And, we increased our annual dividend payout by 6.6 percent, to $1.93 per share, the 48th consecutive year of dividend increases, one of the longest track records in the utility industry.
To shape the future: Over the past eight years, we've modernized our electric generating fleet by retiring aging coal plants and constructing new and cleaner natural gas and renewable energy resources, including wind facilities. We’ve nearly doubled the generating capacity of our system during this period while significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the energy we produce. From 2011 to 2018, we reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 25 percent and reduced nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide emissions by more than 50 percent.
As you read our Corporate Responsibility Report, you’ll learn much more about our organization and our efforts to have a positive impact in all we do. Thank you for your interest in Black Hills Energy.
Linden “Linn” R. Evans
President and CEO