With constant talk about how the domestic shale boom has lowered natural gas prices, the news that Columbia Gas is asking the Public Utility Commission for a 23.4 percent rate hike might be a bit confusing.
It’s not that Columbia is paying more for natural gas than any other utility. The company wants customers to help foot the bill for pipeline improvements. Here’s more from the AP:
Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania wants the state to approve a 23.4 percent rate hike the utility says will raise $77.3 million a year to help it replace aging pipelines.
If Friday’s request is approved by the Public Utility Commission, the average residential customer’s monthly bill would rise from $67.17 to $82.92.
Columbia, based in Cecil Township, says it’s the first natural gas company to file for a rate increase under a new state law that makes it easier for utilities to recover costs of distributing gas. The company says it has spent $400 million to replace old pipelines in the last five years.