Monday, September 28, 2009

Atlanta Gas Light says pipeline plan would boost service

ATLANTA, Ga. - Speaking before the Georgia Public Service Commission, company executives of Atlanta Gas Light (AGL) said approval of the first three-year phase of the gas pipeline improvement plan would decrease the risk of outages for about 160,000 AGL customers in seven metro Atlanta communities: Gwinnett, Henry and Paulding counties, and Marietta, Conyers, Cumming and Newnan.
AGL said the planned expansion of pipeline capacity and natural gas storage facilities would reinforce its ability to provide gas service even if temperatures dipped to 10 degrees.
Expansion is necessary to meet the demand for gas that has increased with population growth in some areas outside the Perimeter, the company said.
The project has attracted attention because of its cost and because the utility has proposed to pay for it through a surcharge on ratepayers rather than making a standard rate recovery case before the PSC.
Critics, including consumer advocates, maintain that surcharge cases require less scrutiny of a company’s proposal, and that they can lead to overcharges.
Residential customers would pay an additional surcharge of 95 cents a month if the project is approved, on top of an existing monthly surcharge of $1.95. That fee pays for a pipeline replacement program AGL started in 1998.

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