The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) has voted to reduce Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania's revenue increase request, approving a settlement that would increase annual operating revenues by $35 million. Columbia filed its request earlier this year seeking a $55 million revenue increase to help fund upgrades of its underground distribution infrastructure and training for pipeline safety and regulatory compliance (see Daily GPI, March 23). The PUC said the approved settlement would increase an average residential customer's bill from $77.33 to $83.05 per month, or by about 7%. Columbia provides natural gas service to roughly 421,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in parts of 26 counties. Since 2007, the company has invested nearly $1.1 billion to modernize and expand its distribution system. The settlement also includes a program that provides alternative options to finance the costs of natural gas extension projects for large commercial and industrial customers.
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