November 02, 2022
The Facts on Columbia Gas of Ohio’s Rate Hike Request
Columbia Gas of Ohio plan would raise customer bills by nearly $20 a month while gutting environmentally beneficial energy efficiency programs.
Gas prices have increased dramatically the last two years, and customers have already seen large increases in their bills. Bills essentially doubled from 2020-2021 and stayed high. Columbia itself has said its energy efficiency programs help customers control those bills, but it has agreed to cancel them to get a settlement.
On top of canceling efficiency, Columbia raising the fixed monthly charges would reduce customers’ ability to control their bills by turning down their thermostats and using less gas. Hence, this case will hurt lower- and middle-income customers disproportionately.
- On Oct. 31, Columbia Gas of Ohio filed a plan with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) that
would raise customer bills by nearly $20 a month while gutting environmentally beneficial energy
- This plan, part of a proposed settlement in an ongoing rate case, would hike the fixed rate charge on every
account from $37 to as much as $58 a month.
- The hike would be staggered out over the next five years, with the first price spike coming in May 2023.
- This hike would come on top of skyrocketing natural gas prices, hitting Ohio families twice. The cost of
natural gas more than doubled from 38 cents per 100 cubic feet in February 2021 to 79 cents a year later.
- The plan would also gut Columbia Gas of Ohio’s energy efficiency work, eliminating a slate of programs
designed to help households control their heating bills while benefitting the environment. Only the low-
income weatherization program would remain.
January UPDATE: The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio approved the Plan. ELPC comments here.