- Proposed increase covers $600 million in investments to serve Greater Nashville area's growth
- Cost to customers would be 10% lower than two years ago
- Utility will continue aid for customers affected by COVID-19 pandemic
NASHVILLE, Tenn., July 2, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Following significant investments to support population growth and the reliability of its system, Piedmont Natural Gas today filed a request with the Tennessee Public Utility Commission (TPUC) to raise its base rates by 15%.
Piedmont's last base rate adjustment was nearly nine years ago. Since 2012, Piedmont has invested approximately $600 million in the Nashville metropolitan area to build the infrastructure needed to support the community's substantial growth, which includes an increase in population of 11.2% since 2010, and comply with federal safety regulations.
"Piedmont has made vital upgrades to our natural gas system in this growing community without a rate increase for nearly a decade – a result of our strong effort to control costs and minimize impacts to customers," said Sasha Weintraub, Piedmont Natural Gas senior vice president.
If approved, the new rates could go into effect Jan. 1, 2021, with the utility's average residential customer experiencing a bill increase of about $11 each month, or $132 annually.
"With the cost of natural gas continuing to decrease, customer bills after the proposed rate adjustment would still be lower than they were in July 2018, and Piedmont will be able to continue supporting growth and prosperity in our Tennessee communities," said Weintraub.
The new proposed residential rate will be 10% less than the rate was in July 2018, as Piedmont made a series of rate adjustments that resulted in a net bill decrease of $14 per month for the average residential customer between March 2019 and March 2020.
To learn more about Piedmont's rates, visit piedmontng.com/rates.
Bill Relief Programs
Piedmont will continue aiding residential and business customers whose accounts have fallen behind due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The company has suspended key credit actions, including disconnections for nonpayment, late payment fees and fees for credit card and other payments.
Support for these efforts includes:
- Online tools so customers can directly choose an extended payment arrangement that best fits their needs
- Simplified processes for accessing Low Income Home Energy Assistance
- Program (LIHEAP) and other funds available through communities' agencies
Ongoing Community Assistance
In March of this year, when a devastating tornado hit downtown Nashville, Piedmont Natural Gas donated $200,000 to organizations in the metro area to support recovery. With the economic downturn brought on by the pandemic, Piedmont Natural Gas and its parent company together have donated a total of $6 million for COVID-19 relief efforts in seven states, including Tennessee.
Piedmont Natural Gas
Piedmont Natural Gas, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, is an energy services company whose principal business is the distribution of natural gas to more than 1 million residential, commercial and industrial customers in North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. The company also supplies natural gas to power plants. Piedmont is routinely recognized by J.D. Power for excellent customer satisfaction, and has been named by Cogent Reports as one of the most trusted utility brands in the U.S.
Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S. It employs 30,000 people and has an electric generating capacity of 51,000 megawatts through its regulated utilities, and 3,000 megawatts through its nonregulated Duke Energy Renewables unit.
Duke Energy is transforming its customers' experience, modernizing the energy grid, generating cleaner energy and expanding natural gas infrastructure to create a smarter energy future for the people and communities it serves.
Duke Energy was named to Fortune's 2020 "World's Most Admired Companies" list, and Forbes' "America's Best Employers" list. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains 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
Media Line: 877.348.3612
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SOURCE Piedmont Natural Gas