OPC Wins Key Benefits for DC Consumers with PSC Approval of Gas Merger and Tax Rate Cut


June 28, 2018

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Washington, DC --The DC Public Service Commission today approved settlements in two cases: the WGL Holdings-AltaGas merger and the impact of the 2017 federal tax cut legislation on Washington Gas's rates. As a result of aggressive advocacy by the Office of the People's Counsel in both settlements, District consumers will reap economic benefits.

"One of my priorities as People's Counsel is to ensure consumers receive all they are entitled to in the form of reasonable rates and improvements to the energy infrastructure that keep the lights on and the gas moving. The end-result of our zealous advocacy in both cases delivers on OPC's statutory mandate," said People's Counsel Sandra Mattavous-Frye.

The Commission approved the WGL-AltaGas merger settlement with conditions. Under the terms of the settlement, consumers will receive immediate and long-term, tangible financial and public interest benefits, including a one-time rate credit ranging from $45 to $150 for residential customers, a two-year rate freeze, system reliability protections, public safety commitments to reduce gas leaks and a $6 million contribution to the DC Infrastructure Academy that trains DC residents for utility jobs. AltaGas also will provide $4.2 million to support low and limited-income residents in affordable multi-family housing and provide financial contributions to the Washington Area Fuel Fund for emergency utility bill assistance to Washington Gas consumers who meet income requirements.

The settlement also calls for AltaGas to provide funding to develop 10MW of either electric grid energy storage or renewable resources such as solar or wind in the District, and provide $450,000 to fund a study to assess the development of renewable bio-gas facilities in the metropolitan area.

OPC worked with the other settling parties, including the DC Office of the Attorney General, and the District government to achieve a unanimous settlement that benefits all DC ratepayers. Final approval is contingent upon the parties' acceptance of the Commission's conditions.

As part of the tax legislation settlement, OPC successfully negotiated an $8.2 million rate reduction for Washington Gas customers. In this case, DC consumers also will receive a one- time bill credit to be decided at a later date.

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