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2019 Rate Request

Peoples has filed a base rate increase request with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, proposing an increase of $94.9 million. So, why is Peoples submitting this rate request, and what does it mean for you, our customers?

In 2016, Peoples launched an aggressive multi-year effort to replace and upgrade over 3,000 miles of natural gas pipelines in Western Pennsylvania. This pipeline replacement project is part of our Long-Term Infrastructure Improvement Plan (LTIIP) to improve the safety and reduce the environmental impact of our natural gas distribution system.

The LTIIP was approved by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, and we began to replace our bare steel and cast iron pipelines in the system with new, state of the art plastic pipelines. Unlike steel or cast iron, the new plastic pipelines will not corrode, and because they are more flexible, can better withstand our region’s freeze and thaw cycle. 

Since acquiring Equitable Gas, we have invested over $600 million to replace more than 400 miles of aging pipeline — that's the distance from Pittsburgh to Washington D.C. and back. In 2019 alone, we plan to invest $200 million in our pipeline system and related facilities. The requested increase is needed to continue this important work of improving our natural gas pipeline system.    

In addition to ensuring customer safety, replacing these pipes provides significant environmental benefits. In particular, replacing pipelines dramatically reduces methane emissions from those older pipes. Since methane is a potent greenhouse gas, replacing those pipelines is one of our top priorities. 

To learn more about this rate request and how it will affect our customers, we encourage you to take a look at the information below or review our bill insert and the following Statement of Reasons.

View Statement

Why is Peoples replacing its pipeline system?

If you live in our region, you know that infrastructure like bridges and roads age over time, especially with the impact of rain, ice and snow. Whether it's potholes or aging steel, it's easy to see how much a road or bridge improves when it's replaced. Gas pipelines are no different, except that they're mostly underground, so it's not obvious to the average customer that they need to be replaced. But over time, those gas pipelines also age and need to be replaced to make sure that they operate safely and smoothly. We want to replace these natural gas pipelines now to ensure that our region will have a strong and safe system for generations. 

How are the new rates approved?

Our rates are approved by the PA Public Utility Commission (PUC). The PUC will examine the requested rate increase.  We must prove to the PUC that the requested rates are reasonable to cover our aggressive pipeline replacement program. After examining the evidence, the PUC may grant all, some, or none of the request or may reduce existing rates. 

How much will my bill change?

If the entire rate increase is approved as proposed to the PUC, the average monthly bill for a residential customer of the Peoples Division will increase by approximately $10 per month. Residential customers of the Equitable Division will see an increase of approximately $14 per month.

Why are the rates for Equitable Division going up more?

The currently effective rates for Peoples Division are higher than Equitable Division’s rates.  Equitable Division base rates have not changed in 10 years.  Through this proposed rate change, the rates for Peoples Division and Equitable Division will become the same.  Because Equitable Division’s rates are currently lower than Peoples Division, the level of increase they will experience under this proposal is more. 

How do I know if I'm a Peoples Division or Equitable Division customer?

When you look at your gas bill, your rate is shown directly below the heading for "Current Charges" as shown below.  The first example is a Peoples Division account and the second is Equitable Division.  You’ll notice there is a letter in parenthesis following the rate name. The "P" indicates Peoples Division while the "E" indicates Equitable Division. 

Peoples Division

Equitable Division

When will the change to my bill occur?

The PUC will complete a thorough review of Peoples’ request for a base rate change.  If the PUC approves this request, in full or partially, we expect the change in rates to be effective in the fall of 2019. 

I am having trouble paying my Peoples bill. What can I do?

We understand utility bills can be difficult for households to manage. We provide several options to make monthly utility bills easier to manage. We offer a budget plan that averages the cost of your natural gas usage over 12 months to give you a steadier monthly payment instead of higher bills in the winter and lower bills in the summer. We also offer a Customer Assistance Program (CAP) that provides an affordable monthly payment based on income for our limited income customers. Energy assistance is also available from federally funded programs like LIHEAP and from Dollar Energy Fund Hardship grants. 

If you or someone you know might need a help with your energy bills, we encourage you to give us a call at 1-800-400-WARM (9276) or visit our Help Me Pay page to learn more about the many options that may be available to you.

Where can I find a copy of Peoples Pending Rate Case Tarriffs?

Peoples has two pending rate case tariffs that can be found on our Gas Rates & Tariffs page under "Pending Rate Case Tariffs."

Here are links directly to those two pending tariffs.

  • What Does My Gas Bill Pay For?

    Have you ever wondered what the different charges on your gas bill mean? This video will break it all down for you.
  • What Does a Gas Distribution Company Do?

    One of the most common questions we receive from customers is...what does Peoples do, exactly? We're a gas distribution company, which means we deliver natural gas to your home or business. In this video, we explain how that process works. We also talk about your pipeline responsibility and how you can protect your pipelines.
    Protect Your Pipelines
  • What Can I Expect When Peoples Upgrades a Pipeline?

    When we decide to do a large-scale pipeline replacement project, we know that it can seem daunting to customers. A lot of construction work goes into these projects. But we want our customers to know that we're going to keep you informed every step of the way. In this video, you'll learn more about how we use a "temporary restoration" to get your street back to normal before scheduling a permanent restoration. You'll also learn about how these pipeline upgrade projects do so much to help the environment by reducing methane emissions. 
    See Project Map