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Columbia Gas of PA Commits Settlement Funds to Hardship Fund / Columbia Gas of PA Commits Settlement Funds to Hardship Fund

April 26, 2012 -- The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today approved a petition by Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania to contribute proceeds stemming from a settlement with Columbia Gulf Transmission Co. to programs that help low-income customers pay their bills and to provide refunds for some small business customers.

The Commission voted 5-0 to allow Columbia to contribute the residential portion of the proceeds it received from the settlement to its Hardship Fund. The fund, which provides assistance grants to customers who may not qualify for other financial assistance programs, or to those who still have a critical need for assistance when there are no other resources, will receive $219,774. The total amount refunded to small commercial customers will be about $98,232.

Columbia provides natural gas service to approximately 373,000 residential and 38,000 commercial customers in Adams, Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Butler, Centre, Clarion, Crawford, Elk, Fayette, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Indiana, Jefferson, Lawrence, McKean, Mercer, Somerset, Venango, Warren, Washington, Westmoreland and York counties.

On Dec. 1, 2011, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued an Order on a Gulf rate case, approving a settlement between Gulf and active parties including Columbia. The new rates approved by FERC netted refunds of about $16 million to be issued before the end of March 2012. Columbia's estimated share of the refunds is about $318,006.

Source: PA PUC