Virginia Natural Gas seeking permission for rate increase

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Virginia Natural Gas is seeking permission to increase its rates for the first time since 1996.

The company has asked the Virginia State Corporation Commission for permission to raise its base rates and to gradually increase customers’ rates over three years. The $25.1 million annual increase would cover the company’s construction and operation costs of the Hampton Roads Crossings Pipeline, which was completed in 2010.

“It is never easy to raise rates, especially in challenging economic times, but investments in the reliability and safety of critical energy infrastructure is still required,” Jodi Gidley, president of Virginia Natural Gas, said in a statement.

The company’s phased proposal would raise residents’ rates by an average of $3.11 per month in the first year and less than $1.50 per month annually during the next two years. If rate increases went into effect at once, monthly rates would increase $6.27 per month.

Gidley added that natural gas rates are expected to remain low because of excess supply, so that even with the proposed rate increase, customers would be paying less than they were three years ago.


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