EVANSVILLE, Ind (WEHT) SIGECO has filed a request with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission for recovery of investments made in its southwestern Indiana natural gas service territory.
This filing comes after the completion of a 7-year, $240 million gas modernization project that was required to comply with federal pipeline safety rules. The improvements included replacing bare steel and cast-iron distribution mains with new industry-grade plastic mains and inspecting and upgrading natural gas transmission pipelines. This work has led to a 36% reduction in methane emissions since 2013.
In 2013, a forward-looking capital investment plan was submitted to the IURC for review and cost recovery. Part of the plan involves seeking a traditional rate request at the end of the 7-year plan and is a requirement of the law. With the 2013 filing and the IURC’s approval and regular review of that plan, the company is now seeking recovery of 20% of their investments.
“These infrastructure investments are vital to meeting federal mandates and ensuring the safe and reliable delivery of natural gas to our customers,” said Richard Leger, Vice President of Natural Gas Distribution, Indiana and Ohio. “While our natural gas customers will experience a base rate increase to their bills, it will be the first time in nearly 14 years we have pursued such recovery.”
If the request is approved, natural gas customers can expect an approximate increase of about $15 per month. This represents the costs not already recovered in the previous seven years and recovery of additional investments related to public and system improvements required since 2006.
The filing will take several months to complete and will include a public hearing as part of the regulatory process. Should the plan be approved, new rates would go into effect during the third quarter of 2021. This filing has no impact on electric rates.