Peoples, Equitable natural gas customers to see rate increases under PUC settlement |

Peoples, Equitable natural gas customers to see rate increases under PUC settlement

Brian C. Rittmeyer

State regulators have approved a rate increase for Peoples Natural Gas, but lower than the utility had requested.

The settlement with the Public Utility Commission combines the rates of the company’s Peoples and Equitable divisions.

Peoples acquired competitor Equitable Gas Co. from EQT Corp. in 2013.

Under the settlement, the average monthly bill for a residential Peoples customer will increase by 7.5% — or $5.60 — from $74.24 to $79.84. The average monthly bill for an Equitable customer would increase by 12.8% — or $9.05 — from $70.79 to $79.84.

The increase approved by the commission will increase the company’s revenues by $59.5 million, or nearly 9%. In its request filed Jan. 28, Peoples Gas had sought to increase its revenues by about $94.9 million per year, or 14%.

The company previously said it needs the increase to pay for modernizing its infrastructure and continuing greenhouse gas reduction.

Peoples Gas serves more than 622,000 residents and businesses in Pittsburgh and surrounding counties in southwestern Pennsylvania. Public hearings on the rate increase request were held earlier this year.

PUC Commissioner Andrew G. Place issued a statement on the companies’ plans to withdraw their energy efficiency and conservation program. He encouraged the companies to file a revised plan.

Place also recommended that Peoples report at least annually on its revised line extension policy.

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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