Pueblo, CO, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — November 20, 2008 – Black Hills Energy has concluded a multi-year agreement with Elster to supply smart meters and smart grid solutions to residential and business customers in the company’s Pueblo, CO service area.

The smart meter deployment will allow Black Hills Energy to test energy conservation options for its customers. The pilot program will use Elster’s EnergyAxis ® System to collect customer usage information such as load profile, demand, and time-of-use (TOU) information to analyze the distribution system and determine if system improvements are needed. The company will deploy smart meters as part of Phase I of the multi-phase program.

“This is an important investment in a proven technology,” said Gary Stone, vice president, Black Hills Energy, Colorado electric operation. “Because they can be read remotely, smart meters do not require us to send workers out to read them in person, reducing gas costs, labor expenses and vehicle maintenance.

Pending the successful outcome of the Phase I of the project, Black Hills Energy will continue the installation of smart meters on homes and businesses in its territory within the next year or two.

Black Hills/Colorado Electric Utility Company, LP, d/b/a Black Hills Energy, successor to Aquila Networks-WPC, a subsidiary of Black Hills Corporation, serves approximately 93,000 electric customers in 21 southeastern Colorado communities.