Local News

PSNC Asks to Amend Controversial Rate Plan Structure

Posted April 20, 2007 9:36 p.m. EDT
Updated April 20, 2007 9:41 p.m. EDT

— PSNC Energy this week filed a motion with the North Carolina Utilities Commission to amend its controversial rate structure, which sets a minimum usage for gas customers in the summer months to prevent a higher rate in the winter.

The motion, filed April 18, asks the Utilities Commission to put all of PSNC customers on the "Standard Rate 110" plan on its lower "Value" rate plan, effective June 1.

About 120,000 customers statewide -- considered "part-time" customers because they do not use as much natural gas in the summer -- on the standard rate plan pay $1.30 per therm. PSNC said part-time customers create inconsistency for the system and are more expensive to serve.

There are about 280,000 customers -- who use natural gas year-round -- on the value rate plan that pay $1.18 per therm.

In the Triangle, PSNC serves approximately 250,000 residential customers. About 175,000 are on the lower value rate, and 75,000 are on the higher standard rate.

If the Utilities Commission approves PSNC's motion, customers could still see an increase in rates in the future. The lower rates would mean a decrease in revenue and profits.

PSNC is expected to ask Utilities Commission for a rate increase to make up the difference.