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 2021 revenues, Chattanooga Gas received approval from the Tennessee Public Utility Commission (“Commission”) on Monday, August 8, 2022. To minimize the impact on customers’ bills, Chattanooga Gas proposed a voluntary rate cap proposed that was approved by the Commission in 2021 for rate filings made in 2021 through 2024. Under this voluntary rate cap, the 2022 rate increase to the typical residential customer’s total average bill is $4.20 a month or a 5.66% increase. New rates became effective September 1, 2022.
This ruling allows Chattanooga Gas to recover costs incurred during 2021 while also continuing to strengthen the safety and reliability of the region’s pipeline infrastructure, support increasing supply and demand growth from our residential customers, especially on the coldest days of the year, and provide more system capacity to the community that continues to see rapid growth in residential, commercial, and industrial areas. Despite continued economic uncertainty, demand for natural gas service from Chattanooga Gas increased in 2021 with more than 1,100 new residential and commercial customers.
System enhancements Chattanooga Gas made in 2021, including an expansion of the Chattanooga LNG facility, helps the Company safely maintain service to customers when demand is at its highest, among other things. Such action taken by Chattanooga Gas in 2021 is anticipated to ultimately save customers $50 million dollars over the next ten years, with the potential to provide even more savings by reducing the need to use more expensive alternatives in the future as demand continues to grow.
Even after this rate adjustment, the average bill will still be on par with rates from the past decade, after accounting for inflation. We understand these are challenging times for the Chattanooga community and we are mindful of the impacts to our customers. These infrastructure enhancements are crucial to safely and reliably meeting the region’s present and future natural gas needs and are part of our obligation to provide the safe and reliable service our customers expect and deserve.