Virginia Beach, Va. – June 1, 2020 – Virginia Natural Gas (VNG) has filed a request with the Virginia State Corporation Commission (VSCC) seeking to eliminate bill-payment transaction fees and improve customer service, while recovering its costs associated with significant capital investments in the areas of safety, compliance and strategic system connections to support the long-term needs of its customers.
Customer service improvements include a proposal to improve customer call-waiting times and interactive assistance by establishing a virtual call center, creating employment opportunities for individuals who may prefer to work from home, including disabled veterans and military spouses, who are among the region’s most underemployed residents.
“Filing a rate request during the coronavirus health crisis is not something we take lightly,” said Jim Kibler, president of Virginia Natural Gas. “We understand the impacts COVID-19 has had on our community and are doing all we can to alleviate the burden. At the same time, as part of our commitment to the communities we serve, we continue to make investments in order to provide safe and reliable natural gas service in times of uncertainty.”
The company’s last rate request was made three years ago in 2017. Since that time, the company has implemented the Southside Connector (SSC), modernized pipelines and services and removed low-pressure pipeline from its system. The current request also includes additions to the company’s tariff to allow Renewable Natural Gas into the VNG pipeline system and offers a framework for a fixed bill option to help customers manage monthly bills. In sum, the filing seeks approximately $49.6 million to properly finance ongoing operations based on these key investments. Beginning Nov. 1, 2020, an average residential customer can expect an increase in their monthly bill of approximately $11, subject to the final approval of the VSCC in December.
For more information about this rate request, visit virginianaturalgas.com/residential/pricing-and-rate-plans.
About Virginia Natural Gas
Virginia Natural Gas is one of four natural gas distribution companies of Southern Company Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO). Virginia Natural Gas provides natural gas service to nearly 300,000 customers in southeast Virginia and has been recognized as one of the safest, most reliable and customer-focused natural gas service providers. Consistently ranked in the top quartile for customer satisfaction by J.D. Power and Associates, the company has also been recognized by the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy and the Virginia Oil and Gas Association for its safety, community outreach and educational programs, and was named Local Distribution Company for three consecutive years. Virginia Natural Gas has been ranked by its business customers as being one of the most Trusted Business Partners in the utility industry according to Cogent Reports, and as one of the Top Workplaces in Hampton Roads by Inside Business. For more information, visit virginianaturalgas.com and connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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 and approximately 700,000 retail customers through its companies that market natural gas. 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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