Regulatory Commission hearing on Boonville natural gas rate case scheduled for today

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A IURC evidentiary hearing regarding Boonville Natural Gas rate increase is scheduled for today in Indianapolis.

INDIANAPOLIS (WEHT) — According to its testimony, Boonville Natural Gas is seeking a rate increase due to higher operating and maintenance costs.

An Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) evidentiary hearing is scheduled for Tuesday at the PNC Center at 101 W. Washington Street in Indianapolis.

While evidentiary hearings are open to the public, participation is typically limited to attorney and Commission questioning of technical witnesses.

Boonville Natural Gas Corp. provides natural gas service to approximately 4,900 customers in Warrick County, and its pending request would raise its annual non-gas-cost operating revenues by nearly $357,000.

The impact on a customer’s bill would vary based on usage; when annual costs are averaged out over the year, a monthly residential bill would rise by approximately 10 percent according to the utility’s filings.

Within the customer’s bill, the utility’s request would increase the flat, monthly residential customer charge from $12.00 to $14.00.

The utility’s current base rates were approved in 2012, and decreased in 2018 due to federal income tax reductions.

The utility and OUCC have reached a partial agreement concerning the utility’s authorized rate of return.

The proposed increase in this case would only apply to the utility’s base distribution rate, which comprises between 59 and 64 % of an average Boonville residential customer’s monthly heating bill.

Base distribution rates cover “non-gas” costs such as operating and maintenance expenses, and capital infrastructure improvements.

The rest of a typical monthly heating bill pays for the natural gas itself, which the utility recovers on a dollar-for-dollar basis subject to OUCC review and IURC approval every six months.

A final decision in the case is expected late this year.

Updates on the case are being posted on the OUCC’s website, here.

Case updates are available through the agency’s monthly electronic newsletter, here.

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(This story was originally published on August 27, 2019)

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