Virginia Beach, Norfolk residents could pay almost $100 more annually on gas bills if request is approved

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Southsiders could see an increase in their gas bills if the state approves Virginia Natural Gas' request to increase its general rate.
Southsiders could see an increase in their gas bills if the state approves Virginia Natural Gas’ request to increase its general rate. (Photo courtesy of Virginia Natural Gas)

VIRGINIA BEACH — If the state passes a request Virginia Natural Gas submitted last week, Southside residents and business owners could pay about $95 more per year on their gas bill.

Virginia Natural Gas sent a request to the State Corporation Commission Friday, March 31 for a general rate increase, which could impact its 293,000 customers in its 15 localities throughout southern Virginia.

“While the SCC considers our request, our proposed rates will take effect in September, subject to final review and approval which could occur in the first part of 2018,” Duane Bourne, VNG spokesperson said. “For a typical residential customer, our request will increase their natural gas bill by an average of $8 per month.”

The impact on typical VNG customers is based on the annual consumption of 571 hundred cubic feet of natural gas, according to its application to the SCC.

Bourne said VNG’s last rate increase request was in 2011 and that they have increased less than the rate of inflation inflation since 2012.

This increase would give VNG about a $30 million increase in annual revenue.

VNG president James Kibler said the rate increase request reflects the business’s ongoing efforts to improve safety and reliability of its system to meet its customers’ demand, as well as a change in its operation costs in a testimony to the SCC.

The operating cost changes include growing its workforce, focusing on training and development, according tot the testimony.

“If approved, our request also allows the company to address the costs of meeting increasingly stringent state and federal safety and operational compliance standards,” Bourne said.

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