Corning Natural Gas Rate Increase Public Hearing September 14th, 2016

Factsheet and Notice of Public Hearing

In June 2016, Corning Natural Gas Corporation (Corning) requested that the New York State Public Service Commission approve a proposed increase in its gas delivery rates.  Corning serves approximately 15,000 customers in Chemung, Cortland and Steuben counties in New York.  Upon receipt of the rate filing, Department of Public Service (DPS) Staff began an analysis of the Company’s request to evaluate whether – or to what extent – a rate increase is justified.  DPS represents the public interest in rate proceedings and evaluates such requests with the goal of ensuring safe and reliable service at just and reasonable rates.  Review of the Corning filing is also underway by other parties to the proceeding. 
Public Statement Hearings and Information Sessions:

September 14, 2016
Location:   Southeast Steuben County Library  300 Nasser Civic Center Plaza  Corning, NY  14830
Times:  3:00 pm Information Session and 4:00 pm Public Statement Hearing
             6:00pm Information Session and 7:00pm Public Statement Hearing 

The Commission is seeking comment on the proposed increase to gas delivery rates.  An Administrative Law Judge will preside over the gathering of public comments and all evidence relating to the rate request.  The comments made at the hearings will become part of the formal record in these proceedings and will be presented to the Commission for consideration.  Under New York State Law, the Commission must consider a utility’s proposal and may adopt or reject it in whole or in part, or modify it by adopting changes proposed by participating parties, the general public or the Commission. Interested members of the public are invited to attend the public statement hearings and provide comments regarding the proposal.  The hearings will be preceded by an information session where a Corning representative will describe the Company’s filing and an Administrative Law Judge will explain the rate case process and how individuals can participate.  It is not necessary to make an appointment in advance or present written material in order to speak at the hearings*.              
*Disabled persons requiring special accommodations should contact the DPS at (518) 474-2520 as soon as possible.  Telecommunications Relay Service users may request a sign language interpreter by calling the New York Relay Service at 711.  Individuals with difficulty understanding or reading English are encouraged to call DPS at 1-800-342-3377 for free language assistance.  
Corning Natural Gas Corporation Proposed Rate Increase  Case 16-G-03691  
On May 26, 2016, Corning filed a three year plan for new gas delivery rates with the first rate year ending May 31, 2018, the second ending May 31, 2019 and the third ending May 31, 2020.  According to the filing, the Company’s proposal will enable Corning to provide safe and reliable gas service through continued modernization of its pipeline infrastructure and customer information technology systems.  Corning asserts that the rate request will also allow the Company to provide enhanced low income customer programs, continued area economic development and possible gas expansion initiatives.
Proposed Rates: A gas bill consists of two parts:  delivery rates and supply rates.  Through delivery rates, the utility recovers the cost to transport the gas to customers throughout the utility’s gas delivery system.  The delivery rate is regulated by the Commission.  Through the supply rate, the utility recovers the cost of the gas commodity.  The cost of the gas commodity is determined by the competitive market place and is not set by the Commission or the utility.  

Corning proposes to increase its annual revenues for gas delivery service by approximately $3.3 million for the first rate year.  The Company also proposes to restructure delivery rates so that some current surcharges will be eliminated and the same costs will be included in base rates, on a revenue-neutral basis.  In addition to the first year increase, the Company provided information supporting increases of approximately $1.2 million and $0.7 million in each of the two succeeding years.  The Company projects that the requested increase in delivery revenues would result in a total annual bill increase for an average residential heating customer of $98.60 the first year, $187.50 the second year and $186.50 the third year for a total increase over three years of approximately $473 (41.8% increase).   

Rate Case Components:
• System Modernizations:  Included in Corning’s proposal is funding to improve pipeline infrastructure and system integrity.  Corning proposes to continue replacing bare steel mains on its high and low pressure distribution systems.  Additionally, the proposal calls for replacing 400 bare and coated unprotected steel service lines and installing 100 new service lines in each of the rate years.  The Company also proposes to upgrade its cyber security measures. 

• Gas Expansion:  As part of the rate request, the Company will continue to seek opportunities to expand its service to new customers and new areas.    
Rate case documents may be viewed online at DPS’s website.  From the homepage, click on “Search,” and enter the case number (16-G-0369) in the “Search by Case Number” field.    


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