July 1, 2001
L.A. Loves a Loophole
There's no getting around it...
Gas Transport Available for Low-income Customers
A settlement agreement approved by the New York Public Service Commission (PSC) for National Fuel Gas Distribution Corp. "would attempt to institute" a gas transportation program on behalf of low-income residential gas users.
The agreement also allows the utility to increase its rates by 2.2 percent in equal increments over a two-year period and provides for an equal sharing between the company and its ratepayers of earnings in excess of a 12-percent return on common equity.
Under the low-income proposal, the state Department of Social Services (DSS) would purchase gas on a commodity basis from a vendor of its choice. The vendor could then use National Fuel transportation service at the favorable rate available to a transportation customer with a 100-percent load factor. The
settlement also holds open the possibility that reductions in the company's uncollectibles expense, as a result of the DSS program, would be flowed back to ratepayers after PSC review. Re National Fuel Gas Distr. Corp., Case No. 95-G-1009, July 11, 1996 (N.Y.P.S.C.).
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