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Tel: 804.864.1100

Virginia Commission Approves Settlement in Columbia Gas Rate Case

Results in Benefits for Competitive Suppliers

On March 17, 2017, the Virginia State Corporation Commission (“Commission”) entered a final order on a rate increase application filed last year by Columbia Gas of Virginia (“Columbia”). The Commission approved a comprehensive settlement (“Stipulation”) agreed to by Columbia, the Commission Staff, the Attorney General’ Office, and several intervening parties. We are very pleased that our firm was able to help negotiate a favorable settlement on behalf of a group of retail gas suppliers. The Stipulation approved by the Commission will reduce the fees associated with competitive gas service in Virginia and provide more operational flexibility for suppliers in several key areas.

In addition to requesting an increase to its revenue requirement, Columbia also requested several changes to its terms and conditions that would have adversely impacted both customers and suppliers in the competitive gas market. Our firm represented a group of competitive suppliers who provide gas transportation service to commercial customers in Columbia’s service territory. Among other issues, our clients were concerned that Columbia’s proposed changes to its terms and conditions would increase fees for gas transportation service and reduce suppliers’ ability to provide cost-effective service to customers. The Stipulation, however, resulted in several favorable tariff modifications, including reduced fees for daily gas transfer service and more reasonable penalties in the event suppliers over- or under-deliver natural gas on certain days.

The Stipulation approved by the Commission also authorized a total revenue requirement increase of $28.5 million and established a rate of return on common equity (“ROE”) of 9.5%. Columbia had originally requested a total revenue requirement increase of $37 million and an authorized ROE of 11.25%.

Please contact one of our regulatory attorneys for more information about this case, or should you have any questions about competitive energy markets in Virginia and the Mid-Atlantic.