By: Ralph B. Davisrdavis@civitasmedia.com
May 30, 2013
FRANKFORT — Columbia Gas of Kentucky is asking the state Public Service Commision to allow the utility to raise rates for the first time in four years.
Columbia filed its request with the state Thursday. The company is seeking to increase revenues by $16.6 million, or 17.75 percent.
According to figures supplied by the company, the increase would amount to $7.98 a month for the average residential customer and $21.49 for the average commercial customer.
“Given that this request covers a six-year period, the requested increase amounts to an average of less than 3 percent per year,” said Columbia Gas of Kentucky President Herbert A. Miller Jr. “We look forward to enhancing our services and programs for our customers.”
The requested increase comes at a time when Columbia customers were due to see a surcharge disappear. Since 2008, Columbia bills have included an additional fee for the Accelerated Main Replacement Program, which replaced approximately 400,000 feet of main and service lines, and moved indoor gas meters outside.
Columbia says the rate increase is necessary to allow the company to continue investing in its Distribution Integrity Management Program and automated meter reading devices.
Lisa Smith, communications manager with Columbia, said there is no set timetable for when the PSC might consider the company’s request, but such matters generally require several months of review. She added that she would not expect any change to rates, whatever the PSC’s decision, until around the end of the year.