RICHMOND — The State Corporation Commission (SCC) has approved a rate increase for the delivery of natural gas within the Virginia service territory of Washington Gas that is approximately $8.5 million less than the company sought. The SCC order means Washington Gas will recalculate its delivery service rate that has been charged since October 1, 2011, and refund the difference to customers, with interest.
The service delivery charge is the cost to consumers to operate the gas distribution system. It does not include the cost of the natural gas consumed by the customer which is listed as a separate gas supply charge on the monthly bill.
On January 31, 2011, Washington Gas filed an application for an increase in annual operating revenue of approximately $29.6 million, or six percent. The request was amended to $28.5 million which was then allowed to go into effect, on an interim basis, beginning October 1, 2011.
Following a comment period and several hearings, Washington Gas filed a proposed stipulation to address all outstanding issues and allow an increase of $20 million, or approximately 4.1 percent. The stipulation was joined by the Attorney General’s Division of Consumer Counsel, the staff of the SCC, and representatives of Arlington, Fairfax and Frederick Counties.
The interim rate increase on October 1 increased the typical residential heating customer’s bill by approximately $4.25 per month. The final rate approved by the SCC reduces the amount of the increase to $3.05, a difference of $1.20 per month.
Washington Gas provides service to approximately 495,000 customers in Virginia.
Case number PUE-2010-00139