A tariff is a legal document that specifies the charges, terms and conditions under which Chattanooga Gas provides service to its customers.
During its annual review mechanism (ARM) filing reviewing 2020 revenues, Chattanooga Gas received approval from the Tennessee Public Utility Commission on Monday, August 9, 2021, to increase customer rates by 9.1% of the total natural gas bill for the typical commercial customer, or $8.91 per month. Residential customers will receive a similar percentage increase. New rates take effect September 1, 2021.
The ruling allows the company to recover costs incurred in 2020 while enhancing safety, improving reliability and expanding its system to support the unprecedented growth experienced in the Chattanooga region. Demand for reliable access to natural gas increased in 2020, with more than 1,000 new residential and commercial customers connecting to the system.
The system enhancements Chattanooga Gas made in 2020 help the company safely maintain service to customers when demand is at its highest, among other things. By taking this pragmatic action, Chattanooga Gas anticipates saving customers an estimated $40 million dollars over the next 10 years by reducing the need to employ more expensive gas supply alternatives.
Natural gas prices remain at historically low levels. Even after this rate adjustment, the average bill will still be more than $60 below what it was two decades ago after accounting for inflation. As compared to peak prices in 2008, which reached $1.20 per therm, natural gas remains a good value for customers. A report by the Consumer Energy Alliance found that energy savings – in addition to the availability of natural gas infrastructure critical to major industries – generated investment and economic development across Tennessee. Since 2011, the report found access to natural gas has helped to create and support more than 18,000 local jobs and over $3.6 billion in local investment.
We understand these are challenging times for the Chattanooga community and we are mindful of the impacts to our customers; however, infrastructure enhancements are crucial to safely and reliably meeting the region’s present and future natural gas needs.