Increased operating costs and infrastructure investments prompted Virginia Natural Gas to file a rate increase with the Virginia State Corporation Commission (VSCC). On December 20, 2011, the company received approval from the VSCC for the first rate increase in base rates since 1996.
The approval provides for a $11.3 million increase in base revenues and recovery of $3.1 million of the costs through gas cost recovery rates that were previously recovered through base rates.
Starting during the February 2012 billing cycle, the new rates will increase the non-gas portion of an average residential customer's monthly bill by approximately $3.47 each month, depending on usage. Customer's statements will be credited to reflect the rate increase beginning with usage on and after October 1, 2011, when the interim rates took effect, through January 2012.
The rates approved by the State Corporation Commission were the result of a settlement reached between the company and several parties that resolves the petition Virginia Natural Gas filed with the VSCC in February 2011. This settlement helps recover increased operational costs as well as those associated with building the Hampton Roads Crossing Pipeline, which was completed in 2010 and connects the northern and southern pipeline systems crossing the Hampton Roads harbor. This connection provides for an increase in reliability of natural gas supplies for residential and industrial customers and area military facilities.
Read more about the Hampton Roads Crossing Pipeline.