The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) hosted the first in a series of four public hearings today to discuss a proposed 5.5% rate increase requested by Southern California Gas Company. If accepted, customers will see an average of $2.58 added to their bills beginning in January.
Southern California Gas Company requested a rate increase through a General Rate Case (GRC) application, first filed in December of 2010 and revised in July 2011. The proposed rate increases for 2012 will bring in approximately $237 million more than the revenue authorized for 2011.
Southern California Gas Company's General Rate Case application expresses a need for increased revenue so that it may meet projected future operating costs associated with providing natural gas to its customers.
According to the California Public Utilities Commission public hearing announcement, "costs related to gas transmission, distribution, and underground storage service, operating and maintenance expenses, depreciation expenses, taxes, and return on invested capital are part of this case."
Typically performed every three years, the GRC allows the California Public Utilities Commission to "conduct a broad and detailed review of a utility's revenues, expenses, and investments in plant and equipment to establish an approved revenue requirement." The public hearings, which will take place October 24-27, are part of this review and will allow the public to weigh in on the rate hikes.
The Southern California Gas Company is the nation's largest natural gas distribution utility and the primary provider in Southern California. It serves around 20.9 million consumers through 5.8 million meters in more than 500 communities.