The agreement was developed in collaboration with the Carolina Utility Customers Association, the Carolina Industrial Group for Fair Utility Rates and the Public Staff of the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC)
Piedmont Natural Gas reached an agreement today with North Carolina consumer and industrial groups that could lower winter costs for residential customers while covering significant investments made to accommodate growth, safety and reliability.
All parties agreed to a 3% increase in rates, which is approximately one-third of the 9% increase Piedmont originally requested to recover costs for system growth, infrastructure investments and pipeline safety and security improvements.
Under the terms of the settlement, resulting from the rate review request filed in April, the monthly bill for Piedmont’s typical residential customer in North Carolina would increase an average of $1.80 per month. The impact of this rate increase is mitigated by the company returning savings from federal and state tax reform to customers.
The impact may be further reduced by an expected decrease in the cost of natural gas in the fall.
“Once these factors are in place, and with the commission’s approval, we believe our customers in North Carolina now will pay less for natural gas this winter than they did in the winter of 2018,” said Frank Yoho, executive vice president and president, Piedmont Natural Gas. “We appreciate the constructive work from all parties and the consideration they’ve given to our customers and to the investments Piedmont has made to keep our pipeline system safe and reliable.”
The agreement was developed in collaboration with the Carolina Utility Customers Association, the Carolina Industrial Group for Fair Utility Rates and the Public Staff of the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC), which represents the interests of the consumer.
The settlement reduces the company’s requested return on equity from 10.6% to 9.7%.
Piedmont’s proposed rate increase applies to residential, commercial and industrial customers. If approved by the NCUC, Piedmont anticipates the new rates will go into effect by the end of 2019.
Source: Company Press Release.