The Tennessee Public Utility Commission voted Monday to approve $4.8 million in rate adjustments following Chattanooga Gas’ annual financial review. The ruling allows the company to recover costs incurred in 2019 while enhancing safety, improving reliability and expanding its system to support the unprecedented growth experienced in the Chattanooga region. The adjustments represent an approximate 7 percent increase on the total bill for typical residential customers, or $2.98 per month.
The impact of the rate adjustment on the community was minimized thanks to a decision by the TPUC to accelerate the return of $3.4 million in credits stemming from the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) to customers, said officials.
“Today’s ruling acknowledges we have made prudent investments to ensure the safety and reliability of our infrastructure, meet our customers’ demands and support growth in the Chattanooga region,” said Pedro Cherry, president and CEO of Chattanooga Gas. “These rate adjustments allow us to better serve the community. As the region works to recover from the economic impacts of the coronavirus, investments like these will enable us to serve as a key ally in efforts to rebound.”
Since 2010, natural gas bills in Chattanooga have decreased. Even with the approved increase, the typical residential customer’s total average bill will be 4.13 percent less than a decade ago. A report by the Consumer Energy Alliance recently found that these energy savings – in addition to the availability of natural gas infrastructure critical to major industries – generated investment and economic development across Tennessee, creating and supporting at least 18,475 jobs in the Chattanooga region alone, said officials.
“We are mindful of the impact any increase can have on customers during this unprecedented time, and we appreciate the Consumer Advocate’s collaboration to ensure this rate adjustment truly benefits all of the Chattanooga region,” said Mr. Cherry. “Access to clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy is critical to helping communities thrive.”
The ARM filing process was initially delayed, at the request of Chattanooga Gas, due to the challenges the coronavirus pandemic presented to customers. The new rates will now go into effect Oct. 1.
For more information about rates, visit https://www.chattanoogagas.com/residential/pricing-and-rate-plans.html.