Energy providers have been in the news a lot lately with the cold weather and power outages across the country. While some of us in South Dakota may have experienced brief periods without power and most of us did our part to conserve energy, our hearts go out to those throughout the country who experienced much worse.

Although these frigid temperatures are unwelcome and pose challenges to our team and your families, they tend to showcase the best of South Dakotans. We show up to help without being asked, we share resources without hesitation and often times it all goes unnoticed or without acknowledgement. That's just how we look out for our neighbors in South Dakota.

Looking out for our neighbors in South Dakota is a sentiment that rings true for the board at Dakota Energy. Looking out for our neighbors, or member-owners, means asking the hard questions and revealing uncomfortable truths about our current energy provider. Questions like, why have our rates more than doubled in 15 years while prices decline across the country? Why are we paying for $700+ million-dollar losses passed from Basin Electric through East River? Why do executives at East River have such high salaries with annual raises, while rates increase and infrastructure improvements are neglected?

As you probably know, Dakota Energy is currently engaged in a lawsuit with East River Electric to establish a fair exit fee, so we can decide whether to exercise our right under the bylaws to pursue other options.

While our board has not made a final decision on whether to withdraw, we believe that as a good partner and neighbor, East River has a responsibility to provide us this information. It's nothing personal, it's just how we look out for our neighbors and member-owners in South Dakota.

Chad Felderman

Dakota Energy

CEO/General Manager

Huron, Feb. 22