Columbia Gas of Virginia, a subsidiary of NiSource Inc. (NYSE: NI), residential natural gas customers will receive a one-time refund in their July or August bills as a result of the final order issued this month by the Virginia State Corporation Commission in Columbia's 2018 base rate case.
The average residential customer refund is approximately $23, based on customer usage. The refund reflects the difference between Columbia's new base rates approved by the Commission and interim rates that took effect, subject to refund, on January 31, 2019.
Going forward, customers will see their average seasonal monthly bills increase slightly (by an average of $1.99 per month or approximately 2.7 percent) when compared with rates that were in effect prior to January 31, 2019. The new base rates include costs associated with natural gas delivery, distribution and customer service, including significant investments that Columbia Gas is making to enhance system safety, reliability and customer service.
The Commission's final order also addresses customer savings associated with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. As a result, customers will also see a monthly credit in their bills beginning in August 2019 until July 2020.
Base rates represent about 60 percent of a typical customer's total bill. The remaining 40 percent of the bill consists of natural gas costs, which are directly passed through to customers on a dollar-for-dollar basis.
Columbia Gas encourages customers to enroll in free programs which can help manage their energy bills, including:
- Budget Payment Plan - Allows customers to spread energy costs evenly throughout the year
- WarmWise energy efficiency and conservation program (WarmWiseVA.com)
- Paperless Billing - Saves energy and natural resources required to produce paper bills.
Customers with questions regarding rates and/or refunds may call 1-800-543-8911 or visit ColumbiaGasVA.com for more information. Customers can also follow Columbia Gas on Facebook (ColumbiaGasVa), Twitter (@ColumbiaGasVa) and Instagram (columbiagasva).
About Columbia Gas of Virginia
Columbia Gas of Virginia delivers safe, reliable and clean natural gas to more than 270,000 customers in portions of Northern Virginia, Hampton Roads, suburban Richmond, Central Virginia, Shenandoah Valley, Lynchburg region and Western Virginia. With headquarters in Chesterfield County, the company is one of the seven energy distribution companies of NiSource Inc. (NYSE: NI) serving approximately 4 million natural gas and electric customers. Always call 811 before you dig and Dig with CARE.
NiSource Inc. (NYSE: NI) is one of the largest fully-regulated utility companies in the United States, serving approximately 3.5 million natural gas customers and 500,000 electric customers across seven states through its local Columbia Gas and NIPSCO brands. Based in Merrillville, Indiana, NiSource's approximately 8,100 employees are focused on safely delivering reliable and affordable energy to our customers and communities we serve. NiSource is a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability - North America Index and the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index and has been named by Forbes magazine among America's Best Large Employers since 2016. Additional information about NiSource, its investments in modern infrastructure and systems, its commitments and its local brands can be found at NiSource.com. Follow us at Facebook.com/NiSource, LinkedIn.com/company/NiSource or Twitter.com/NiSourceINC. NI-F
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities laws. Investors and prospective investors should understand that many factors govern whether any forward-looking statement contained herein will be or can be realized. Any one of those factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Examples of forward-looking statements in this press release include statements and expectations regarding NiSource's or any of its subsidiaries' business, performance, growth, commitments, investment opportunities, and planned, identified, infrastructure or utility investments. All forward-looking statements are based on assumptions that management believes to be reasonable; however, there can be no assurance that actual results will not differ materially. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the projections, forecasts, estimates, plans, expectations and strategy discussed in this press release include, among other things, NiSource's debt obligations; any changes in NiSource's credit rating; NiSource's ability to execute its growth strategy; changes in general economic, capital and commodity market conditions; pension funding obligations; economic regulation and the impact of regulatory rate reviews; NiSource's ability to obtain expected financial or regulatory outcomes; NiSource's ability to adapt to, and manage costs related to, advances in technology; any changes in our assumptions regarding the financial implications of the Greater Lawrence Incident; potential incidents and other operating risks associated with our business; our ability to obtain sufficient insurance coverage; the outcome of legal and regulatory proceedings, investigations, inquiries, claims and litigation; any damage to NiSource's reputation, including in connection with the Greater Lawrence Incident; compliance with environmental laws and the costs of associated liabilities; fluctuations in demand from residential and commercial customers; economic conditions of certain industries; the success of NIPSCO's electric generation strategy; the price of energy commodities and related transportation costs or an inability to obtain an adequate, reliable and cost-effective fuel supply to meet customer demands; the reliability of customers and suppliers to fulfill their payment and contractual obligations; potential impairments of goodwill or definite-lived intangible assets; changes in taxation and accounting principles; the impact of an aging infrastructure; the impact of climate change; potential cyber-attacks; construction risks and natural gas costs and supply risks; extreme weather conditions; the attraction and retention of a qualified work force; the ability of NiSource's subsidiaries to generate cash; tax liabilities associated with the separation of Columbia Pipeline Group, Inc.; NiSource's ability to manage new initiatives and organizational changes; the performance of third-party suppliers and service providers; and other matters set forth in Item 1A, "Risk Factors" section of NiSource's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2018 and in other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. A credit rating is not a recommendation to buy, sell or hold securities, and may be subject to revision or withdrawal at any time by the assigning rating organization. In addition, dividends are subject to board approval. NiSource expressly disclaims any duty to update, supplement or amend any of its forward-looking statements contained in this press release, whether as a result of new information, subsequent events or otherwise, except as required by applicable law.
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SOURCE NiSource Inc.
Media Contact, Monique Finneran, Director, Communications & Community Affairs, Columbia Gas of Virginia, 1809 Coyote Drive, Chester VA 23836, 804-777-3079, mfinneran@NiSource.com.