PSNC files for rate increase in North Carolina

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12 April 2016, Electricity

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If the request is approved, the average year-round residential customer would see a monthly increase of approximately $3.41.

The rate increase request is the direct result of PSNC's need to recover costs to operate and expand its pipeline system, implement an Integrity Management rider, and establish a deferral mechanism for distribution integrity management operations and maintenance expenses. Since its last rate case filing in 2008, PSNC has made approximately $609 million of capital investment in its utility property.

In addition, the company has installed more than 1,424 miles of transmission and distribution mains and added approximately 77,000 customers to its system over that timeframe. PSNC estimates that it will spend an additional $149 million in plant capital investments by June 30, 2016.

"Since PSNC's last rate increase 8 years ago, we have continued to invest in our system to meet the needs of our customers," said PSNC President and COO Rusty Harris. "It is essential to recover these costs in order to continue to meet our customers' needs and provide safe and reliable natural gas service."

In its rate case application, PSNC is also requesting approval of a rider to its rates to track and provide for ongoing recovery of capital expenses related to PSNC's transmission and distribution pipeline integrity management programs. These safety related programs are in response to the US Department of Transportation requirements of identifying and assessing risks on the system and remediating conditions that present a potential risk to pipeline integrity.

Finally, PSNC is seeking authority to include in the company's cost of service $2 million related to distribution integrity management program operations and maintenance (O&M) expenses incurred through December 31, 2015. PSNC is also seeking authority to continue the deferred accounting treatment for O&M expenses associated with its transmission integrity program and defer those O&M expenses associated with its distribution integrity management program in excess of $2 million. PSNC does not expect the Commission to rule on its request until this fall.

Source: MarketLine

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