Washington Gas – which delivers natural gas to more than 1.1 million residential, commercial, and industrial customers throughout the District of Columbia and the surrounding region – filed an application (Docket No. PUE-2016-00001) on June 30 with the Commonwealth of Virginia’s State Corporation Commission (SCC) to increase its base rate – generating $45.6 million in additional annual revenue.
About half of the company’s customers reside in Virginia. The filing addresses rate relief necessary for Washington Gas to recover its costs and earn its allowed rate of return, the company said. The typical residential heating customer would see an increase of about 4.6 percent in his or her gas bill – or, on average, about $3.08 per month.
The revenue increase includes $22.3 million associated with natural gas pipeline replacement initiatives previously approved by the commission and paid by customers through a monthly rider.
In addition to programs to upgrade the Washington Gas distribution system and enhance safety, the proposed rate increase includes provisions designed to deliver the benefits of natural gas – including lower energy costs, economic growth and reduced carbon emissions – to more customers. Washington Gas said in its filings.
These include proposals to:
- Facilitate conversion to natural gas in locations already served by Washington Gas;
- Expand the natural gas system to high-growth communities in Virginia; and
- Drive innovation through research and development to enhance service for customers.
“We are committed to the safe and reliable delivery of natural gas to our customers in Virginia and throughout the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area,” commented Washington Gas CEO Adrian Chapman, adding, “Our proposal to the commission reflects this commitment and includes a number of provisions to expand the benefits of natural gas to more Virginians while enhancing service delivery.”
The company anticipates that the new rates will become effective with the December 2016 billing cycle. Washington Gas’ last Virginia SCC-approved rate increase took effect in October 2011.