UGI files for rate increase

READING UGI Utilities, Inc. - Gas Division filed a request with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission to increase its base rates for residential, commercial and industrial customers by $74.6 million annually.

The requested increase would recover UGI's ongoing costs related to system improvements and operations necessary to maintain safe and reliable natural gas service.

"This rate increase will support ongoing distribution system improvements and technology system upgrades," Christopher Brown, UGI vice president and general manager rates and supply, said.

The company's filing includes over $373 million in budgeted system investments for system infrastructure, facilities and information technology investments which are not yet included for recovery in current rates.

"A significant part of our investment is an aggressive infrastructure betterment initiative designed to replace all non-contemporary pipelines with those made of contemporary materials," Brown said.

The UGI rate increase request will impact the delivery charge portion of a customer's bill. The delivery charge provides a utility with the funds needed to own, operate and maintain the gas distribution system and provide customer service and emergency response services.

Assuming the full amount of the proposed rate increase is granted, UGI customers would see the following rate impact:

4Residential: The total bill for a typical residential heating customer using 73.5 ccf per month would increase from $81.54 to $90.22 per month or by 10.6 percent.

4Commercial: The total bill for a typical commercial heating customer using 28.7 mcf per month would increase from $251.83 to $273.05 per month or by 8.4 percent for customers in the former North rate district. For all other commercial heating customers, the total bill would increase from $262.21 to $273.05 per month or by 4.1 percent.

4Industrial: The total bill for a typical industrial customer using 93.0 mcf per month would increase from $762.99 to $817.18 per month or by 7.1 percent for customers in the former North rate district. For all other industrial customers, the total bill would increase from $796.61 to $817.18 per month or by 2.6 percent.

UGI is requesting that the new gas rates take effect March 28.

However, the PUC typically suspends the effective date for general base rate proceedings to allow for investigation and public hearings.

The PUC proceeding is expected to last approximately nine months, which would delay implementation of the new rates until late Oct. of 2020.

Customers and interested parties may view UGI's base rate filing materials on the UGI website at http://www.ugi.com and clicking on the "rate filing" tab on the home page.

Customers with questions may also call UGI toll-free at (800) 276-2722 to receive further information on the proposed rate increase or to find out what actions they make take.

UGI Utilities, Inc., gas division, serves more than 654,000 customers in 45 counties across Pennsylvania.