Columbia Gas files request to raise base rates

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Chester-based Columbia Gas of Virginia has filed a request with the Virginia State Corporation Commission to raise its annual base rates.

The company says the rate increase, which would be effective on October bills, would raise the total monthly natural gas bill for a typical residential customer by an average of $6.90, or $82.77 per year.

That amount is based on rates that went into effect on April 30 and the use of 683 cubic feet of natural gas in a year.

Columbia said the increase is necessary to recover investments and other costs associated with efforts to modernize its natural gas distribution system, improving its integrity and reliability.

The company also wants to recover other cost increases that have occurred since its last rate case.  Columbia’s last request for a base rate increase occurred four years ago.

The filing requests a total increase of $31.8 million per year. A decision on the filing is expected by the end of the year.

Columbia serves customers in portions of Northern Virginia, Hampton Roads, suburban Richmond, Central Virginia, and the Shenandoah Valley, the Lynchburg region and parts of Western Virginia.

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