Hope Gas allowed to increase rates after pipeline improvement program approved

The PSC’s decision allows the company recoverable costs of $24 million from ratepayers.
Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 3:26 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 13, 2023 at 3:28 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va (WDTV) - The Public Service Commission of West Virginia has approved a pipeline improvement and replacement program for Hope Gas, Inc.

The PSC says the program will go into effect on Nov. 1.

In approving the annual plan on Friday, the PSC received two letters of protest, but found “there was no contested information filed in this case indicating that the proposed expenditures, projects [and] revenue requirements … are unjust, unreasonable or contrary to the public interest.”

The Commission issued its decision based on a 2015 law under which the Legislature found that an accelerated investment in basic gas development structure would “improve the safety and reliability of natural gas infrastructure” and create more jobs.

Under the program it launched in 2016, Hope said it planned to replace more than 1,000 miles of its 3,246-mile distribution pipeline system in an accelerated 24-year effort. Current bare steel pipeline would be replaced by coated steel or plastic pipe.

The PSC’s decision allows the company recoverable costs of $24 million from ratepayers, which translates into a 5.84% increase, or $6.54, in the average monthly residential bill.

Hope Gas provides service to 111,000 customers in 35 counties.