BERLIN - Eversource Energy want to increase its rates for natural gas and plans to request a rate review from the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority.
According to the utility, Eversource sent a letter of intent on May 11 alerting PURA that the company will file a rate application with the next 30 to 60 days.
Included in the letter is a rate increase of $49 million in the first year, $21 million in the second and $16 million in the third.
If the requested new rates are approved, the average increase for gas customers would be 9.2 percent in the first year, 3.7 percent in the second year and 2.9 percent in the third year, the utility said.
PURA will review the application. New rates would go into effect Jan. 1, 2019, Eversource said.
“These investments allow us to enhance safety and further modernize the gas distribution system, minimizing repairs and any service interruptions, to ensure our customers have energy for every moment of their lives,” said Bill Akley, Eversource’s president of gas operations, in a release. “Each mile of leak-prone main we replace makes our gas system safer, stronger and helps the environment. In addition, we continue expanding access to this abundant, clean-burning fuel to more residents and businesses in Connecticut, resulting in savings for all of our natural gas customers.”
Eversource said the application would allow it to replace cast iron and bare steel gas mains with newer plastic pipe, which is safe and more durable and better able to handle fluctuations in underground temperatures.
The utility operates and maintains 3,370 miles of natural gas infrastructure in 73 communities around the state, it said.
It has replaced 145 miles of gas pipelines since 2011, and plans to upgrade an additional 371 miles, it said.
Investments in the gas distribution system make it possible to interconnect local pipelines, which provide additional paths for gas to flow and create redundancies that make gas outages less likely, according to Eversource.
Charles Paullin can be reached at 860-801-5074 or firstname.lastname@example.org.