For Release: 07/31/2012
CHICAGO, IL - Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas, subsidiaries of Integrys Energy Group (NYSE: TEG), today each filed a request for an increase in the amount they charge to deliver natural gas to customers. If approved, the proposed rate increase would be less than $6.50 a month for typical Peoples Gas residential heating customers, and less than $4 a month for typical North Shore Gas residential heating customers, and would not take effect until next summer.
The filings, a requirement due to the utilities' decisions not to enter into long-term, high-cost supply contracts with CCE/Leucadia and Power Holdings, Inc., are mandated under Illinois General Assembly Public Acts 97-0239 and 97-0096 and are the first step in an 11-month regulatory review process with the ICC.
The Peoples Gas rate increase is necessary to recover the cost of upgrading, replacing, and maintaining the aging natural gas delivery infrastructure at an accelerated pace. Replacing the infrastructure will result in cost savings and benefits for customers over time. "While natural gas supplies are abundant and wholesale costs are low, we need to focus on investing in our natural gas distribution system by modernizing the aging gas infrastructure in Chicago, said Will Evans, president of Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas. Our Accelerated Main Replacement Program (AMRP) in Chicago has created over 500 direct jobs and will inject over $2.5 billion into the local economy over the next 20 years. North Shore Gas also has several key infrastructure projects in the upcoming year."
In 2011, Peoples Gas embarked on an ambitious plan to upgrade and modernize the natural gas delivery infrastructure to ensure the long-term safety and reliability of its system and manage its repair and maintenance costs well into the future. The ICC originally approved a cost recovery mechanism called "Rider ICR" in January 2010, which allowed Peoples Gas to recover (between rate cases) the costs related to AMRP as the modernization occurred. Disappointingly, the Rider is no longer in effect after an Illinois Appellate Court issued a decision reversing the ICC's approval of Rider ICR. The utility is now seeking a more definitive solution in order to continue the 20-year, $2.5 billion investment in AMRP and recover the costs associated with modernizing the infrastructure in a timely manner.
Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas are committed to the communities in which they operate to help low and fixed income residents meet their energy needs. The utilities work closely with Citizens Utility Board, The City of Chicago and Community Action Partnership of Lake County to deliver their Share the Warmth program which has provided more than $10 million in heating assistance grants to more than 50,000 families over the past 12 years.
About Peoples Gas
Peoples Gas, a subsidiary of Integrys Energy Group, Inc. (NYSE: TEG ), is a regulated natural gas delivery company that serves approximately 826,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in the city of Chicago. For more information about Peoples Gas, visit the company's website: www.peoplesgasdelivery.com.
About North Shore Gas
North Shore Gas, a subsidiary of Integrys Energy Group, Inc. (NYSE: TEG), is a regulated natural gas delivery company that serves approximately 158,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers located in 54 communities within the northern suburbs of Chicago. For more information about North Shore Gas visit the company's website: www.northshoregasdelivery.com.