Atlanta Gas Light Files First Rate Request in Two Years
Residential customers’ $3.80 monthly adjustment would fund investments to improve safety, reliability, customer response times and compliance with new local, state and federal safety regulations.
ATLANTA – June 4, 2019 – Atlanta Gas Light made a filing June 3 with the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) asking regulators to approve a $96.1 million adjustment to base rates, representing a $3.80 monthly increase for the typical residential customer.
The request, if approved, would fund critical system improvements over approximately a three-year period since the company’s last rate adjustment in 2017 and into 2020. This adjustment would allow Atlanta Gas Light to make its system safer, comply with new regulations, respond faster to customer calls and leak reports, increase reliability and resilience on the coldest days of the year, and extend natural gas service to underserved areas.
“We are committed to providing clean, safe, reliable and affordable natural gas service to the communities we serve,” said Atlanta Gas Light President Bryan Batson. “In fact, today our residential customers are paying $250 less for their gas service on average annually than they did in 2008.”
Atlanta Gas Light’s four main pillars for its base rate request include commitments to:
- Improving compliance and best safety practices, which proposes more damage prevention programs, more oversight at construction sites, installation of remote-control valves, aging pipeline replacement, regulator station upgrades, installation of cyber security protective measures, and pipeline inspection and testing to help ensure appropriate operating pressures comply with pending federal regulations.
- Building system resiliency, which proposes pipeline improvements in Bryan, Chatham, Cobb, Douglas, Forsyth, Fulton, Gilmer, Hall, Murray and Paulding counties. Improvements are necessary to boost capacity for future growth and avoid service losses on the coldest days of the year.
- Applying innovation and putting customers first, which proposes information technology upgrades to improve the company’s interaction with its customers and Georgia marketers’ customers. This investment, along with the addition of personnel, would improve customer engagement and satisfaction, as well as shorten scheduled appointment windows and improve leak response times.
- Growing the system through economic development, which proposes new meter installs, new main extensions and facility relocations related to public projects. Extending natural gas services to underserved areas promotes growth and jobs in local communities.
“Working with the PSC, we have been very deliberate in making substantial investments in our system since natural gas prices started trending down in 2009,” said Batson “We are urging the PSC to allow us to stay ahead of the curve and continue these investments at this rate, recognizing our customers will be less impacted with natural gas rates being forecasted to remain low for the foreseeable future,” Batson said.
The company’s last increase to base rates of $20.4 million took effect in March 2017, followed by a $16 million credit to customers in July and October 2018 stemming from the 2017 federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). The tax savings from the TCJA funded higher operating costs for two years, while offsetting the need for rate increases in 2018 and 2019.
Hearings on the proposal will be held at the PSC office Sept. 10-12, 2019, and a decision is expected in December. Any new rate adjustments likely would go into effect Jan. 1, 2020. For more information about the rate request visit atlantagaslight.com/rates-tariff.
About Atlanta Gas Light
Atlanta Gas Light is one of four natural gas distribution companies of Southern Company Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO). Atlanta Gas Light provides natural gas delivery service to more than 1.6 million customers in Georgia. In operation since 1856, the company is one of the oldest corporations in the state. For more information, visit atlantagaslight.com.
About Southern Company Gas
Southern Company Gas is a wholly owned subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE:SO), America’s premier energy company. Southern Company Gas serves approximately 4.2 million natural gas utility customers through its regulated distribution companies in four states with 685,000 retail customers through its companies that market natural gas and related home services. Other nonutility businesses include investments in interstate pipelines, asset management for natural gas wholesale customers and ownership and operation of natural gas storage facilities. For more information, visit southerncompanygas.com.
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