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2019 Rate Request

On October 3, 2019, the Pennsylvania Public Commission approved a rate increase of $59.5 million for Peoples Natural Gas customers. This rate increase will appear on customer bills starting on October 29th, 2019. These rates will only affect Peoples Natural Gas and Equitable Division customers. Peoples Gas (formerly Peoples TWP) customers will not be impacted by this rate change.

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 over $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 by replacing aging natural gas pipelines.    

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

Questions: Peoples Natural Gas and Equitable Division Customers

Am I affected by this rate change, and when will the change to my bill occur?

The change in rates will be effective as of October 29th, 2019.

These rates will only affect Peoples Natural Gas and Equitable Division customers. Peoples Gas (formerly Peoples TWP) customers will not be impacted by this rate change.

Not sure if you're a Peoples Natural Gas 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 Natural Gas account and the second is Equitable Division.  You’ll notice there is a letter in parenthesis following the rate name. The "P" indicates Peoples Natural Gas (Peoples Division) while the "E" indicates Equitable Division. If you see either a (P) or an (E) under Current Charges on your bill, you will be affected by this rate change.

Peoples Division

Equitable Division

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 were the new rates approved?

The state agency which approves rates for public utilities is the PA Public Utility Commission (PUC).  The PUC examined the requested rate increase and approved an increase of $59.5 million.   

How much will my bill change?

With the approved rate change of $59.5 million, the average monthly bill for a residential customer of the Peoples Division will increase by approximately $5.60 per month.  Residential customers of the Equitable Division will see an increase of approximately $9.05 per month. Businesses will also see changes to their rates.

Below is a breakdown of the change in rates for typical residential, commercial and industrial customers.

Residential Customers

  • Avg. Equitable Division residential customer increase from to $70.79 month to $79.84 per month / increase of 12.8%. Based on 86 MCF.

  • Avg. Peoples Division residential customer increase from $74.24 per month to $79.84 per month / increase of 7.5%.  Based on 86 MCF.

Commercial Customers

  • Avg. Equitable Division commercial customer increase from $158.79 per month to $164.95 per month / increase of 3.9% Based on 238 MCF.

  • Avg. Peoples Division commercial customer increase from $150.79 per month to $164.95 per month / increase of 9.4% Based on 238 MCF.

Industrial Customers

  • Avg. Equitable Division industrial customer decrease from $2,140.64 per month to $2,037.59 per month / decrease of 4.8% Based on 3,224 MCF.

  • Avg. Peoples Division industrial customer increase from $1,684.32 per month to $1,923.38 per month / increase of 14.2% Based on 3,224 MCF.

Why are the rates for Equitable Division going up more?

Equitable Division residential base rates have not changed in 10 years. Through this rate change, the residential rates for Peoples Division and Equitable Division will become the same.

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

We understand that increases to utility bills can be difficult for households to manage.  Peoples offers several options to make monthly utility bills more affordable.  We offer a budget plan that smooths the costs of yearly natural gas usage across 12 months, providing a more dependable 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.  And, energy assistance is available from federally funded programs and Dollar Energy Fund Hardship grants. 

Peoples offers a new ProgramFinder tool on Peoples website on our Help Me Pay page This tool will provide you with information on all the programs that are available and allow you to anonymously answer a few questions to find out what programs you may be eligible for and how to apply.

Another option is budget billing. Peoples budget billing program allows you to spread higher bills over long periods. Your gas usage is averaged over the past 12 months, then adjusted for current rates. That way, you pay a similar amount every month. Learn more about budget billing on our Billing Options page.

Questions: Peoples Gas (formerly Peoples TWP) Customers

Why is the rate for Peoples Gas (formerly Peoples TWP) different?

Peoples Gas operates under a different tariff than Peoples Natural Gas. This means there are slightly different rates for these customers. Peoples Gas (formerly PTWP) rates are slightly higher because there are fewer customers to spread the cost to operate the company.

More information on these differences as well as the tariffs for each company can be found on our Gas Rates page.

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