Chairman's Letter

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Chairman's Letter

Improving Life with Energy

At Black Hills Energy, it is our privilege to provide our customers with the essential energy they depend on, and we work with great intention – in every aspect of our business – to ensure we responsibly meet our customers’ energy needs today and well into the future.

We got our start in the Black Hills of South Dakota almost 135 years ago, and today, proudly serve more than 1.25 million electric and natural gas customers in 800 communities across eight states. As we’ve grown and flourished as a company, we have stayed true to our mission – Improving Life with Energy - and to the values that guide and define us. What matters most to our employees and the customers we serve is not just what we do, but how we do it.

With this in mind, we created our first-ever Corporate Responsibility report to help you get to know us better – as a responsible energy provider, as a committed community partner, and as an employer to 2,800 women and men. Our customers are at the center of our business and we work hard each day to exceed their expectations and earn their trust as their Energy Partner of Choice.

As a third-generation employee of Black Hills Energy, I am privileged to be part of a team of individuals - the very best in the business – who love what they do and are committed to doing things the right way. Together, we have built a growing and thriving utility business, providing lasting value for our customers, communities and shareholders.

Our business strategy is guided by four, interdependent goals: Valued Service, Great Workplace, Better Every Day and Profitable Growth. Creating a sustainable business takes a balanced and thoughtful approach and you’ll see that reflected in the decisions we make and the actions we take to deliver safe, reliable and affordable energy to our customers.  We have a responsibility to our customers, our communities, our employees and our shareholders. Our long-term success takes all of these perspectives into account as we execute on our strategy to grow profitably and responsibly.

There is much to be proud of:

  • High performing culture: we work to support a respectful, collaborative and inclusive culture at Black Hills because we believe we all have a hand in making our company a great place to work. Safety is at the forefront of all we do.
  • Environmental commitment: our commitment to environmental responsibility starts with our board of directors and is cascaded throughout our organization. We take a focused and purposeful approach to reducing the impact of our operations on the environment.
  • Driver of economic growth and vitality: in 2017, Black Hills provided more than $900 million in direct economic impact to the cities and towns we serve through payments to suppliers, state and local tax payments, employee compensation and benefits, and contributions to the community.
  • Sustainable growth: we have experienced more than a decade of rapid growth through significant capital investments in our utility systems to better serve our customers and through the strategic acquisition of multiple electric and natural gas utility properties.
  • Strong financial performance: we have a strong track record of delivering solid, long-term financial results. In 2017, we reported adjusted earnings from continuing operations of $3.36 per share, up 7.4 percent over the prior year’s results.* And, we have increased our annual dividend to shareholders for 48 consecutive years, one of the longest records in the utility industry.

These are just a few examples of the many ways in which we are delivering on our commitments to our stakeholders and acting with purpose in the areas of social, environmental and economic responsibility. As you read through our Corporate Responsibility report, we hope you gain a greater understanding of Black Hills Energy –who we are, what we do, and how we are working every day to Improve Life with Energy.

 

Thank you for your interest in Black Hills Energy.

Sincerely,
David R. Emery
Chairman and CEO

*Income from continuing operations, as adjusted, is a Non-GAAP measure. Reconciliation to GAAP can be found in the section titled “About this report.”