HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) approved two proposals by PECO Energy Co. (PECO) designed to increase consumer access to natural gas service and help reduce the cost of extending gas service to homes and businesses.
The Commissioner voted 4-0 at the Oct. 1, 2015, Public Meeting to approve a Joint Petition for Settlement approving two gas extension proposals submitted by PECO.
PECO’s Neighborhood Gas Pilot Program is a three-year, $10 million pilot program that will allow new gas customers to pay a fixed, monthly surcharge rather than a large up-front payment for the cost of extending natural gas service to their properties. Additionally, the PUC approved changes in PECO’s process for calculating any required customer contribution. The Commission noted that calculating the financial return for a gas main extension over a 40-year period, rather than the 15-year period previously used by PECO, more accurately reflects the economics of natural gas service and will reduce the amount consumers will have to pay for connections to gas mains.
In a statement offered during the Public Meeting, Commissioner Pamela A. Witmer noted that PECO’s efforts are “another in a series of positive steps designed to afford Pennsylvania citizens every reasonable opportunity to avail themselves of the numerous benefits of natural gas.”
PECO is the fourth Pennsylvania natural gas distribution company to gain Commission approval for programs intended to help increase customer access to natural gas. The PUC previously approved pilot programs operated by UGI, Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania and Peoples Natural Gas Company.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission balances the needs of consumers and utilities; ensures safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates; protects the public interest; educates consumers to make independent and informed utility choices; furthers economic development; and fosters new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner.
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Docket No.: P-2014-2451772