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For Immediate Release
Contact:  Matt Schilling
614 | 466 7750

PUCO adopts agreement in Duke natural gas distribution rate case

COLUMBUS, OHIO (Nov. 13, 2013) – The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) today adopted a stipulation in Duke Energy Ohio’s natural gas distribution rate case, resulting in no change to distribution revenues. Separately to the approved agreement, the PUCO granted Duke the authority to recover environmental remediation expenses related to two manufactured gas plants.

The approved stipulation sets Duke’s rate of return at 7.73 percent.  In addition, provisions that would have allowed Duke to establish a mechanism to fund mass transit facility relocations, as well as changes to its reconnection procedures and rates, were removed.

Duke will provide $350,000 through shareholder funds to People Working Cooperatively’s low-income weatherization program, and expand eligibility requirements for its energy fuel fund.

Apart from the stipulation, the Commission ruled that Duke be permitted to recover expenses, minus carrying charges, related to environmental remediation at two of its manufactured gas plants in accordance with state and federal environmental regulations. The Commission also disallowed recovery of approximately $2.3 million for the purchase of a parcel of land at one of the sites. The Commission directed Duke to file updated tariffs reflecting remediation costs adjustments, upon which individual bill impacts will be known.

On July 9, 2012 Duke filed its application seeking to increase rates for natural gas distribution service by approximately $44.6 million. Duke also sought to recover approximately $62.8 million for clean up of two former manufactured gas plants in accordance with the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980.

The PUCO held four public hearings throughout Duke’s service territory in February 2013. Subsequently, on April 2, 2013 several parties filed a stipulation resolving many of the issues to the case, excluding environmental costs.

A copy of today’s Commission opinion and order is available at www.PUCO.ohio.gov. Click on the link to Docketing Information System and enter the case number 12-1685-GA-AIR.

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The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) is the sole agency charged with regulating public utility service. The role of the PUCO is to assure all residential, business, and industrial consumers have access to adequate, safe and reliable utility services at fair prices while facilitating an environment that provides competitive choices. Consumers with utility-related questions or concerns can call the PUCO Call Center at (800) 686-PUCO (7826) and speak with a representative.

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