Running on Fumes? PUC Reduces Rate Increase Requested by UGI Gas

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) on September 1 approved a settlement (Docket No. R-2015-2518438) that reduces a base rate increase request filed by UGI Utilities – Gas Division (UGI) on January 19.

UGI’s initial request called for a $58.6 million – or 17.5 percent – increase in annual base rate operating revenues, to be garnered by billing about 388,000 Pennsylvania customers in 15 eastern and south central counties. This latest action by the PUC sanctioned a revenue increase of roughly half that amount.

The $27 million – or 11.3 percent– rate hike will become effective on October 19.

The commission voted 5-0 to approve the settlement, which, the PUC stated, “resolves [the rate filing and] all other issues related to the company’s request.”

Under the settlement, a typical bill for an UGI residential customer using 57.3 ccf per month will increase from $51.77 to $56.11 – or 8.4 percent.  Under UGI’s original proposal, the average total invoice for a residential customer using 57.3 ccf of gas per month would have increased from $51.77 to $61.97, or 19.7 percent.

Additionally, parties to the settlement agreed that nearly $2.7 million of the overall $27 million increase would go toward funding the first year of UGI’s new Energy Efficiency and Conservation (EE&C) plan. In its original proposal, UGI had proposed a voluntary, five-year EE&C plan to offer energy efficiency programs and a Combined Heat and Power program to reduce customers’ energy consumption.

A joint petition to approve the settlement was supported by numerous parties, including UGI, the Commission’s Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement, the Office of the Consumer Advocate, the Office of the Small Business Advocate, UGI Industrial Interveners, and three self-represented complainants.

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