PACIFIC NORTHERN Gas (PNG) customers can more than likely expect a refund this spring once its rates have been finalized by the BC Utilities Commission.
That’s because a rate increase being asked for by the utility is less than an interim hike approved as of Jan. 1. The reason is that PNG filed an original application for an increase in November last year but then amended that application in late December, asking for a rate increase lower than first requested. Instead of a 10.2 per cent increase for residential customers as first calculated, PNG is now asking for a 6.2 per cent hike.
“Based on the fact the amended application has lower rates than the interim rates, it is anticipated that a credit would appear on future customer bills equal to their gas consumption from January 1, 2011 to the effective date of the new lower rates times the difference between the interim and the approved lower rates,” says PNG official Craig Donohue.
The utilities commission routinely approves interim increases or decreases while applications for permanent increases or decreases work their way through the regulatory system. PNG’s rate hike request is not based on the cost of the gas itself but on the cost of delivery.