Chattanooga Gas filed a financial review of its 2019 revenues, operational costs and investments in critical system enhancements with the Tennessee Public Utility Commission (TPUC) on May 29, 2020.
We understand these are challenging times for the Chattanooga community as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, and we are mindful of the impacts to our customers. We realize the impact any rate increase can have on our customers, and we do not enter into this process lightly.
As required by a settlement approved last year by the TPUC in the Chattanooga Gas’ Annual Review Mechanism (ARM) docket, this annual process adjusts rates upward or downward depending upon numerous factors occurring in the previous year.
It enables us to continue to serve our 68,000 customers in Hamilton and Bradley counties.
Chattanooga Gas is requesting approval to adjust rates to support sensible investments made in 2019 that:
Strengthened the safety and reliability of the region’s pipeline infrastructure;
Supported increasing demand from residential customers; and
Provided greater capacity to high-growth residential, commercial and industrial areas.
In 2019, the Chattanooga region experienced significant growth. Chattanooga Gas provided the infrastructure needed to attract new business, help the snack food and automotive industries thrive and enable residential communities to expand.
To minimize impact on customers’ bills, Chattanooga Gas is proposing accelerating the return of credits stemming from the 2017 federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) to customers. The different tax savings from the TCJA would have been spread over multiple years, but Chattanooga Gas is proposing crediting all savings to customers in 2020. This allows customers to receive the benefit of the tax savings sooner and offsets a portion of the bill increase related to the ARM filing.
If new rates are approved, customers’ bills overall would remain nearly 5% lower than they were a decade ago, increasing by only $3.26/month.
A decision on Chattanooga Gas’ proposal is expected in September. Any new rate adjustments likely would go into effect in October.