Residents could see almost $100 annual gas bill increase if state OKs rate hike

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Virginia Natural Gas sent a request to the State Corporation Commission Friday, March 31 for a general rate increase, which could impact its 293,000 customers in its 15 localities throughout southern Virginia.
Virginia Natural Gas sent a request to the State Corporation Commission Friday, March 31 for a general rate increase, which could impact its 293,000 customers in its 15 localities throughout southern Virginia. (File photo)

If the state passes a request Virginia Natural Gas submitted last week, residents and business owners in the Historic Triangle could pay about $95 more per year on their gas bill.

Virginia Natural Gas sent a request to the State Corporation Commission Friday, March 31 for a general rate increase, which could impact its 293,000 customers in its 15 localities throughout southern Virginia.

“While the SCC considers our request, our proposed rates will take effect in September, subject to final review and approval which could occur in the first part of 2018,” Duane Bourne, the company’s spokesperson said Tuesday. “For a typical residential customer, our request will increase their natural gas bill by an average of $8 per month.”

The impact on typical Virginia Natural Gas customers is based on the annual consumption of 571 hundred cubic feet of natural gas, according to its application to the SCC.

Bourne said the company’s last rate increase was in 2011 and that they have increased less than the rate of inflation inflation since 2012.

This increase would give Virginia Natural Gas about a $30 million increase in annual revenue.

The company’s president James Kibler said the rate increase request reflects the business’s ongoing efforts to improve safety and reliability of its system to meet its customers’ demand, as well as a change in its operation costs in a testimony to the SCC.

The operating cost changes include growing its workforce, focusing on training and development, according to the testimony.

“If approved, our request also allows the company to address the costs of meeting increasingly stringent state and federal safety and operational compliance standards,” Bourne said.

This article was published in partnership with WYDaily’s sister publication, Southside Daily.