Chattanooga Gas Submits Annual Financial Review To Tennessee Public Utility Commission

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Chattanooga Gas on Tuesday filed a financial review of its 2020 revenues, operational costs and investments with the Tennessee Public Utility Commission. Through TPUC’s Annual Rate Review Mechanism, the company seeks to adjust 2021 rates in order to recoup the cost of work performed to meet the region’s growing demand for natural gas service while continuing to maintain safety and reliability, said officials.

“Despite the economic uncertainty induced by the pandemic, demand for service from Chattanooga Gas increased in 2020, with more than 1,000 new residential and commercial customers connecting to the system,” said Pedro Cherry, president and CEO of Chattanooga Gas. “In order to continue to safely and reliably meet the region’s present and future needs, Chattanooga Gas made prudent, necessary enhancements to its infrastructure.”

In the years leading up to the coronavirus pandemic and throughout this unprecedented time, Chattanooga Gas provided the infrastructure needed to attract new business to the area, especially in the snack food and automotive industries. Since 2011, access to natural gas has helped to create and support more than 18,000 jobs and over $3.6 billion in local investment, according to the Consumer Energy Alliance.

Officials said the work Chattanooga Gas performed in 2020 will ensure its ongoing ability to bolster the local economy. This includes a system expansion to greater utilize the liquefied natural gas facility that helps Chattanooga Gas maintain service to customers when demand is at its highest. By taking this pragmatic action, Chattanooga Gas anticipates saving customers an estimated $40 million over the next 10 years by reducing the need to employ more expensive gas supply alternatives.

To minimize impact on customers’ bills, Chattanooga Gas is recommending capping charges over four years. This proposal would limit increases to the typical residential customer’s total average bill at $4.38 a month. Even after this rate adjustment, the average monthly bill would still be more than $60 below what it was two decades ago after accounting for inflation.

“We recognize that our role as an energy provider is to help sustain the daily lives of those we serve, which is why our customers are at the heart of every decision we make,” Mr. Cherry said. “The significant infrastructure enhancements we made last year will not only augment safety, reliability and our ability to serve the region, but also ultimately save our customers millions of dollars over the long term.”

A decision on the proposal is expected in August. Any new rate adjustments likely would go into effect in September.



 


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