CHARLOTTE, N.C., April 1, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- For the first time in six years, and following significant investments for the ongoing growth, safety and reliability of its system, Piedmont Natural Gas today filed a request with the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) to raise its base rates. Piedmont seeks to recover costs related to system growth, pipeline integrity management, infrastructure investments, and safety and security upgrades.
"Customer growth and our commitment to operating a natural gas pipeline system that meets the highest safety and reliability standards required critical investment over the past six years," said Frank Yoho, executive vice president and president, Piedmont Natural Gas. "Upholding these standards is the very foundation of our commitment to our customers and the communities we serve."
Piedmont's proposed rate increase of approximately 9 percent applies to residential, commercial and industrial customers. As a result, Piedmont's average residential customer could expect a monthly bill increase of about $6. If approved, the increase will be less than the rate of inflation since 2013, and monthly bills for the average residential customer will be less than those in 2008 due to the continued low price of natural gas.
Some of this investment is required by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration as part of broad pipeline regulations. The remaining investment is related to an increase in Piedmont's customer base and upgrades to the system to help our state and communities continue to grow.
The impact of this rate increase has been mitigated by recent federal and state tax reform, and these funds will be returned to our customers.
"Piedmont's dedicated professionals work hard every day to provide our customers and communities with safe, reliable and affordable natural gas service through wise, prudent investments," Yoho added. "We also educate our customers on how they can save additional money through energy efficiency and conservation of natural gas to further reduce their bills. This is part of our commitment to excellent customer service."
If approved by the NCUC, Piedmont anticipates the new rates will go into effect by the end of 2019. To learn more about Piedmont's proposed rate increase, visit piedmontng.com/rates.
Piedmont Natural Gas
Piedmont Natural Gas is an energy services company whose principal business is the distribution of natural gas to more than 1 million residential, commercial and industrial customers, as well as power plants, in North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.
Piedmont is routinely recognized by J.D. Power for excellent customer satisfaction and was named by Cogent Reports in 2017 as one of the most trusted utility brands in the U.S.
Piedmont Natural Gas is a subsidiary of Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK).
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S., with approximately 29,000 employees and a generating capacity of 49,500 megawatts. The company is transforming its customers' experience, modernizing its energy grid, generating cleaner energy and expanding its natural gas infrastructure to create a smarter energy future for the people and communities it serves.
The company's Electric Utilities and Infrastructure unit serves approximately 7.6 million retail electric customers in six states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. Its Gas Utilities and Infrastructure unit distributes natural gas to approximately 1.6 million customers in five states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. Its Commercial Renewables unit operates a growing renewable energy portfolio across the U.S.
A Fortune 125 company, Duke Energy was named to Fortune's 2018 "World's Most Admired Companies" list and Forbes' 2018 "America's Best Employers" list.
More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center includes news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Duke Energy's illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.
Media contact: Jennifer Sharpe
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SOURCE Piedmont Natural Gas