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Utility regulators to investgate Columbia Gas rate hike proposal

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On the Grid

From the shale fields to the cooling towers, Trib Total Media covers the energy industry in Western Pennsylvania and beyond. For the latest news and views on gas, coal, electricity and more, check out On the Grid today.

Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012, 2:40 p.m.

Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania's proposed 23.45 percent rate hike will be investigated by state utility regulators.

The Public Utility Commission voted 5-0 Thursday to look into the natural gas utility's request to increase revenue by $77.3 million a year, a typical step in rate cases. The request is suspended for up to seven months, and a PUC administrative law judge will make recommendations.

Cecil-based Columbia, part of NiSource Inc., has been replacing old pipelines. It has 415,000 customers in 26 counties. A typical bill for a residential customer who uses 73 therms of gas a month would rise by $15.75 to a total $82.92 under the rate hike proposal.

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