The Kentucky Public Service Commission issued an order (Docket No. 2016-00162) on December 22, approving a proposed settlement with some modifications and allowing Columbia Gas of Kentucky, a subsidiary of NiSource, an increase in total revenues of about $13 million, or 14 percent.
Columbia – which serves 134,000 customers in 31 Bluegrass State counties – originally had sought to increase annual revenues by $25.241 million, or more than 27 percent.
The modified settlement increases the monthly service charge for a Columbia Gas residential customer to $16 from the current $15 and raises the delivery charge per 1,000 cubic feet of gas from $2.27 to $3.57. In its original application, Columbia proposed increasing the monthly residential service charge to $19.75 and the delivery charge to $3.87 per 1,000 cubic feet.
“We have accepted the PSC’s modifications and are implementing these new rates in order to continue our focus on safety for the community, our customers, and our employees,” said utility President Herbert Miller, Jr. “
The rate case has no bearing on the cost of the natural gas used by a customer, the PSC explained, because it is determined by supply and demand in the market. Natural gas costs are passed through to customers on a dollar-for-dollar basis.
The new rates will take effect for service rendered on and after December 27.
Along with these changes, the current charge for Columbia’s Accelerated Main Replacement Program will be reset to zero. The AMRP is Columbia’s proactive approach to replace aging infrastructure. To date, Columbia has invested approximately $92 million and replaced approximately 108 miles of aging main lines and associated service lines.