PUC approves lower than requested rate increase by Columbia Gas
December 21, 2021
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) has approved a settlement that reduces a base rate increase request filed by Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania Inc. (Columbia Gas) on March 30, 2021.
The commission voted 3-0 to approve a Joint Petition for Settlement, which reduces Columbia Gas’ requested rate increase by approximately 40%. Columbia Gas’ initial request called for an overall revenue increase of approximately $98.3 million (19.91%) per year. The action by the commission approved a revenue increase of $58.5 million (11.87%), which becomes effective Dec. 29, 2021.
Under the approved settlement, the total average monthly bill of a residential customer using 70 therms of gas per month will increase from $100.77 to $109.10 (8.27%). Under Columbia Gas’ original proposal, the average total monthly bill for the same residential customer would have increased from $100.77 to $115.37 (14.49%).
Additionally, the approved settlement maintains Columbia’s existing Weather Normalization Adjustment – a type of alternative ratemaking that the commission continues to encourage other utilities to explore, and a type of alternative ratemaking addressed by the General Assembly with the passage of Act 58 of 2018.
The Joint Petition for Settlement was agreed to by the following formal parties in the case, including: Columbia Gas, the PUC’s Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement, the Office of Consumer Advocate, the Office of Small Business Advocate, Columbia Industrial Intervenors, Shipley Choice, LLC d/b/a Shipley Energy Company and the Retail Energy Supply Association, the Coalition for Affordable Utility Services and Energy Efficiency in Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania State University, and the Pennsylvania Weatherization Providers Task Force.