Piedmont Natural Gas files for rate increase

If your home has gas utilities, there is strong possibility you will see an increase in your gas bill beginning January 1.  Piedmont Natural Gas is requesting a 9.3 percent overall increase in annual revenues.  News of the increase, and the reasons behind the request are outlined in a letter sent to all North Carolina customers last week.

According to an article posted to its website, Piedmont indicates that for a typical residential customer in North Carolina, the proposed rates would result in an average increase in their monthly bill of $6.22. However, the resulting average annual natural gas bill of $785 would still be $170 less than the average annual bill in 2008.

Piedmont has requested several times over the past several years to lower its rate in the Carolinas in response to continuing moderation in wholesale natural gas costs.

Since 2008, the wholesale cost of natural gas has been driven dramatically lower as a result of increased natural-gas production from domestic shale gas supply resources.

Thomas Skains, Piedmont’s chairman, chief executive and president, said the rate-increase request is being made “to reflect the significant investment of $1.2 billion we have made since 2008 to expand natural gas service, operate more than 17,500 miles of pipeline delivery system safely and reliably, and comply with on-going federal pipeline safety and integrity management requirements.”

The flier includes the dates and locations for all public hearings in North Carolina which are set in various locations around the state. Any individual wishing to speak at the hearing in Charlotte must file a motion to intervene no later than September 24, 2013, following the Commission’s rules and regulations.

See www.piedmontng.com for further details on submitting a motion to intervene in this issue.

The Charlotte hearing will be held at 7:30 pm on Thursday, August 29, at the Mecklenburg County Courthouse, 832 East 4th Street.

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