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Columbia Gas customers may see rate hike

October 02, 2005|By Daniel J. Sernovitz

Columbia Gas of Maryland customers can expect to pay about 38 percent more starting with their next natural gas bill, compared to what they paid at this time last year, due to a rate adjustment the company filed with the Maryland Public Service Commission earlier this week, according to company information.

On Wednesday, the company filed a request with the Maryland Public Service Commission to increase its purchase gas adjustment rate from about $9.29 to $12.10, an increase of $2.82. Customers will see the new rates reflected on their bills for October, and those rates will remain in effect for their November and December bills. Columbia will request a new rate adjustment for the quarter starting in January, company spokesman Rob Boulware said.

Based on an average residential usage for Maryland customers of 7.5 MCFs per month, customers will see their bills increase 21 percent, from $100.34 per month for the past three months to $121.46 for the next three months. An MCF is a unit representing 1,000 cubic feet of natural gas.

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Columbia charged its Maryland customers $7.68 per MCF at this time last year. At that rate, its average residential customer paid $88.28 per month for gas, about 37.6 percent less than this year.

Boulware said while the Public Service Commission has to review and approve the rate adjustment, he expects the rates will be approved.

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