Columbia Gas to file for rate increase

It could soon cost you more to heat your home.

Columbia Gas is planning to ask for a rate increase. The company announced Friday it plans to ask the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio for a base rate increase.

The new rate would increase the average residential monthly bill by $5.64 a month, which would raise about $82 million for the company.

Columbia Gas says the money would be used to help customers. For example, the company would replace old pipes with new pipes, which would be easier to repair, resulting in fewer leaks, fewer outages, and lower maintenance costs. They would also create a program to help customers figure out how to lower their gas usage, therefore their gas bills. The money would also be used to install automatic meter-reading devices.

The proposal will be filed in early March. If approved, the new rates would take effect in late 2008.

Posted by LS