Washington Gas Files Request for Maryland Rate Increase to Support Natural Gas Safety, Service Enhancements and Reliability
Safety investments, rising cost of service, rate base growth and continued progress towards the replacement of aging infrastructure, among key factors
WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Washington Gas filed an application today with the Maryland Public Service Commission (MPSC) to increase its base rates and charges for natural gas service for its Maryland customers.
The filing addresses rate relief necessary for Washington Gas to recover its costs of providing safe, reliable natural gas service in its Maryland service territory; continue delivering improved service to customers; and permit the Company to earn its allowed rate of return. The change in proposed rates and charges includes a revenue increase in base rates of $35.9 million, partially offset by a reduction of $5.1 million in surcharges currently paid by customers for system upgrades. Company customers are currently paying for this surcharge, which will be transferred into base rates and thus is not an increase to a customer’s overall monthly bill. The typical residential heating customer will pay about $3.51 more per month, approximately a 4.6 percent increase on their total gas bill.
The $5.1 million being collected through the monthly surcharge is associated with Washington Gas’ natural gas infrastructure replacement and environmental improvement initiatives, previously approved by the Commission under Maryland’s Strategic Infrastructure Development and Enhancement (STRIDE) statute.
Washington Gas’ filing follows MPSC precedent from the Commission decision in the Company’s last rate case in 2018, which was the first Maryland rate case it had filed in five years. The Company also is proposing a new Safety Response Tracker (SRT) that would reconcile actual leak management and related costs on an annual basis.
“Throughout our 170-year history, Washington Gas has been committed to safety and reliability as top priorities when delivering the many benefits of natural gas service to our customers. We have been investing in Maryland to enhance our system by the continued replacement of aging infrastructure under STRIDE that underscores our dedication to modernizing our system and improving service delivery,” said Adrian Chapman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Washington Gas. “Our Safety Response Tracker proposal to the MPSC reinforces this commitment while assuring our 489,000 Maryland customers will pay only for actual annual investments incurred for safety and leak management.”
The Company anticipates that the new rates will become effective in the December 2019 billing cycle, given the statutory timeline for Commission consideration. The MPSC approved Washington Gas’ last rate increase on December 11, 2018.
About WGL and Washington Gas
The WGL family of companies—Washington Gas, WGL Energy, WGL Midstream and Hampshire Gas—are now indirect, wholly-owned subsidiaries of AltaGas Ltd [TSX:ALA]. WGL is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and is a leading source for clean, efficient and diverse energy solutions. With activities and assets across the U.S., WGL provides options for natural gas, electricity, green power and energy services, including generation, storage, transportation, distribution, supply and efficiency. Our calling as a company is to make energy surprisingly easy for our employees, our community and all our customers. Whether you are a homeowner or renter, small business or multinational corporation, state and local or federal agency, WGL is here to provide Energy Answers. Ask Us. For more information, visit us at wgl.com and @wglanswers.
WGL’s regulated natural gas utility, Washington Gas, provides safe, reliable natural gas service to more than 1.1 million customers in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. The company has been providing energy to residential, commercial and industrial customers for 170 years. Visit us at www.washingtongas.com and follow us on Twitter @washingtongas.