W.Va. PSC Reviewing Possible Settlement in Mountaineer Gas Rate Case

Jul 14, 2015

Members of the West Virginia Public Service Commission are considering a tentative settlement in a case that could have caused rate hikes for more than 221,000 Mountaineer Gas rate payers across the state. The settlement, according to the PSC’s Consumer Advocate Division, could result in an actual decrease of customers' rates.

West Virginia Public Service Commissioners Brooks McCabe and Mike Albert during a public hearing in Charleston in which Jerry Alderson spoke against proposed natural gas rate hikes.
Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Mountaineer Gas Company filed for a rate increase in January of this year, increasing their base rates by $12.2 million. That increase would have resulted in a nearly 5 percent increase for ratepayers across the state.

An agreement entered Tuesday morning says instead of seeking the 4.7% increase, Mountaineer Gas would seek a 3 percent increase or about $7.7 million in base revenues.

In addition, Mountaineer Gas is filed an annual report with the PSC Monday with the company's purchased gas adjustments rates. The report details how much the utility is paying for gas from producers.

Heather Osborn with the PSC’s Consumer Advocate Division said Tuesday because the price of natural gas is currently low, they expect the price adjustment filed to off set the 3 percent base rate increase, resulting in a reduction of cost on the gas bills of West Virginia customers.

Mountaineer's Chief Operations Office Dave Lokant later said that savings could be as much as $63 a year for the average customer.

The PSC held its final public hearing in the case at 6 p.m. Tuesday evening. On Wednesday, Commissioners were presented the settlement for review.

The PSC has the final say on the agreement which, if approved, would go into effect November 1.