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Chattanooga Gas Company Files New Rate Plan.



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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 27, 2004

Chattanooga Gas Company (CGC CGC Canine Good Citizen (AKC Dog Title)
CGC Commission Géologique du Canada (Geological Survey of Canada)
CGC Confédération Générale des Cadres (French labor union) 
) has asked the Tennessee Regulatory Authority The Tennessee Regulatory Authority (TRA) is the Tennessee governmental unit charged with the responsibility of setting rates and service standards for privately owned telephone, natural gas, electric and water utilities.  (TRA TRA Training
TRA Transfer
TRA Transition
TRA Tennessee Regulatory Authority
TRA Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (Oman)
TRA Tax Reform Act (1976, 1984, or 1986)
TRA Teachers Retirement Association
) to adjust its rates beginning this March to cover CGC's rising costs of providing natural gas to its customers. It has been nine years since CGC increased its rates to customers.

Once the rate change goes into effect, the typical residential customer will likely pay an additional $3.20 per month. The total rate increase requested is approximately $4.5 million. However, a reduction in gas costs of over $1 million dollars will be put into effect in the spring of 2004; this change will reduce the amounts charged for gas on customers' bills.

CGC's new proposed rate plan will provide relief to low-income elderly customers and align customer rates to more accurately reflect CGC's costs of maintaining its natural gas pipeline system. It will also enable the company to replace 100 miles of aging pipe, consistent with CGC's goal of continually modernizing the gas infrastructure that has served customers for almost a century.

"CGC has managed its operational costs very prudently," said Steve Lindsey, Vice President - Operations. "But after nine years we are forced to increase our rates by a modest amount to keep up with rising costs associated with maintaining the safety and integrity of our system."

Lindsey cited other pressures that have lead to CGC's decision to request a rate adjustment, including growing employee benefits costs and "bad debt" or uncollectible customer bills.

"The Chattanooga area's slow economic growth over the last few years has meant CGC did not enjoy the revenue growth we needed in order to stay even with increasing costs," he said. "New federal mandates on pipeline safety and operations, in addition to rising benefits costs for our employees, have left us with no choice but to request a small rate increase."

The cost increases are not related to the price of natural gas. CGC delivers natural gas to its customers at cost, without taking any mark-up on the commodity. Recognizing that the recent surges in the cost of natural gas pose a hardship for low-income, elderly customers, CGC proposed a credit of $7.50 per month for eligible customers under a new program called the "Chattanooga Assisted Rate for Energy Service (CARES)". To qualify, customers must be 65 or older and eligible for Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, Supplemental Security Income Supplemental Security Income

A Social Security program established to help the blind, disabled, and poor.
, Food Stamps food stamp
n.
A stamp or coupon, issued by the government to persons with low incomes, that can be redeemed for food at stores.

Noun 1.
 or Medicaid as provided under TennCare. If CGC's CARES proposal is approved, then anyone 65 or older with an income that does not exceed 125 percent of the federal poverty income guidelines will be eligible.

CGC also asked the TRA to approve a cost tracking mechanism for additional expenditures to permit the replacement of a 100-mile segment of its over 1400-mile pipeline system. Some of the pipeline is almost 100 years old and needs to be replaced. Construction is expected to begin during 2004.

About Chattanooga Gas Company

Chattanooga Gas Company provides retail natural gas sales and transportation services to approximately 60,000 customers in Hamilton and Bradley counties Bradley County is the name of several counties in the United States:
  • Bradley County, Arkansas
  • Bradley County, Tennessee
 in southeast Tennessee. The CGC service area includes the communities of Chattanooga, Cleveland, Red Bank, East Ridge East Ridge, town (1990 pop. 21,101), Hamilton co., SE Tenn., a suburb of Chattanooga, near the Ga. border; inc. 1921. It is chiefly residential. , Lookout Mountain Lookout Mountain, actually a plateau, is located at the northwest corner of Georgia, the northeast corner of Alabama, and along the southern border of Tennessee near Chattanooga. It is one of the southernmost ridge mountains of the Ridge-and-valley Appalachians.  and Signal Mountain. The CGC natural gas pipeline system delivers approximately 20 billion cubic feet of gas per year. For more information, please see www.chattanoogagas.com.

About AGL Resources AGL Resources, Inc. is a Fortune 1000, Forbes 2000 energy services holding company. Their principal business is distribution of natural gas in Florida, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, Tennessee and Virginia, providing gas for more than 2.2 million customers.  

AGL Resources Inc. is an Atlanta-based energy services holding company, and was named 2003 Gas Company of the Year by Platts Global Energy Awards. Its utility subsidiaries - Atlanta Gas Light Atlanta Gas Light Company (AGLC), commonly known as Atlanta Gas Light, is the largest natural gas wholesaler in the Southeast U.S., and is the AGL in AGL Resources. It was founded in 1856 and is headquartered in Atlanta, as is AGL Resources.  Company, Virginia Natural Gas and Chattanooga Gas Company - serve more than 1.8 million customers in three states. Houston-based subsidiary Sequent Energy Management provides natural gas asset management services, including the wholesale marketing and transportation of natural gas. As a member of the SouthStar partnership, AGL Resources markets natural gas to consumers in Georgia under the Georgia Natural Gas brand. AGL (programming) AGL - (Atelier de Genie Logiciel) French for IPSE.  Networks, the company's telecommunications subsidiary, owns and operates fiber optic networks in Atlanta and Phoenix. For more information, visit www.aglresources.com.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jan 27, 2004
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