Delivery rate increase to generate an additional $38.3m in annual revenue

The Equitable Gas Company has announced that the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission has approved its request for a delivery rate increase, the amount the company is permitted to charge for delivery of natural gas to homes and businesses. The decision will result in an average increase in residential bills of $10.25 per month, or about 7.5%.

Natural gas prices, or commodity rates, are the rates utilities charge for the gas itself. This charge is established to comply with the state’s mandate that gas companies neither make a profit nor take a loss on the commodity.

These costs are reviewed quarterly by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC), and the Equitable Gas Company’s next scheduled adjustment will become effective April 1, 2009.

The delivery rate increase, which will generate an additional $38.3m in annual revenue, was necessary to offset significant investments in pipeline infrastructure, and to recover increasing operating costs, both aimed at ensuring the safe and reliable supply of natural gas to the Equitable Gas Company customers.

Elise Hyland, president of the Equitable Gas Company, said: We are mindful of the impact of this rate increase on our customers, particularly given the pressures of the current economy. The good news is that customer bills will soon reflect the recent decline in natural gas prices, which will more than offset the delivery rate increase approved by the commission.