PUCO approves Northeast Ohio Natural
Gas Corp. distribution rate case
COLUMBUS, OHIO (Sept. 26, 2019) – The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) today approved a settlement agreement that resolves all issues related to Northeast Ohio Natural Gas Corp.’s (NEO) application for an increase in rates.
The Commission approved an agreement that will allow NEO to increase its annual distribution rates by $1.95 million and established a rate of return of 8.12%. The company initially sought an increase of $3.5 million. Rate impacts for residential customers will range between $1.82 and $2.85 depending on the customer’s service territory. The company will also create a new class of nonresidential customers who use less than 200 Mcf per month to help reduce their rate impacts.
The settlement approved by the Commission was signed by NEO and PUCO staff. Intervening parties, the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel and Ohio Partners for Affordable Energy, did not sign the stipulation but did not oppose the agreement.
According to Ohio law, a public utility is allowed to recover its operating expenses plus a reasonable return on its infrastructure investments. The PUCO reviews the utility’s financial condition, its operating expenses and ensures that the utility is providing safe and reliable service to its customers.
On Dec. 28, 2018, NEO filed a combined application for an increase in rates and application for approval of an alternative rate plan.
On June 25, 2019, PUCO staff completed an investigation of the facts, exhibits, and matters relating to NEO’s applications and filed a report of its investigation.
The PUCO held three public hearings in August 2019 to collect testimony from the public regarding NEO’s applications. Hearings were held in Lancaster, Canton and Bucyrus.
On Sept. 5, 2019, NEO filed a stipulation, or settlement agreement, signed by the company and PUCO staff. Intervening parties OCC and OPAE did not sign the stipulation but do not oppose the agreement.
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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