Piedmont Natural Gas files rate adjustment in North Carolina for capital investments to better serve customers

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  • Company seeks recovery of investments in system reliability and improvements to support new and existing customers

  • Request includes rate reductions for natural gas costs and income tax payment credits passed to customers

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Following significant infrastructure investments in recent years to support the ongoing reliability, safety and growth of its system, Piedmont Natural Gas today filed a request with the North Carolina Utilities Commission to raise its base rates. If approved, Piedmont’s requested rate adjustment would become effective in November 2024.

Piedmont seeks to recover its prudently incurred costs to comply with federal safety regulations, enhance the customer experience, build needed infrastructure and provide safe, reliable natural gas service to meet the energy demands of more than 810,000 customers in North Carolina.

Piedmont also is requesting concurrent rate reductions for pass-through natural gas costs and to accelerate the flowback to customers of the remaining eligible balance of excess deferred income taxes, which will help mitigate the overall impact to customer bills. This request represents an overall 11.7% increase in the company’s revenues over the first year that new rates are effective. An additional overall increase of about 0.8% would occur after the first year once the reduction for excess deferred income taxes expires.

Piedmont requests periodic rate adjustments to reflect fluctuations in the market price of the natural gas it purchases for its customers. By law, Piedmont does not mark up the cost of natural gas and must pass through the actual cost on a dollar-for-dollar basis to customers. Market prices for wholesale natural gas are at the lowest point in more than a decade. This trend, if it continues, may enable Piedmont to seek further rate reductions for pass-through natural gas costs in the coming months. 

“At Piedmont, we work hard every day to avoid increases to customer bills and to keep costs as low as possible,” said Brian Weisker, senior vice president and president of Piedmont Natural Gas. “The investments we’ve made to strengthen and enhance our natural gas delivery system help ensure we can meet rising demand for natural gas from new and existing customers while also protecting our customers from unplanned outages.”

Piedmont serves six of North Carolina’s 10 most populated cities. Its last general rate case proceeding in North Carolina was in 2021.

“Many of these investments were required for us to safely operate in our communities, but we know price increases for any reason can be challenging for some customers,” Weisker said. “Piedmont is here to help those customers by offering a variety of ways to manage their bills, including assistance programs, our Equal Payment Plan and energy-saving tips and tools.”

Level out your bill with the Equal Payment Plan (EPP) program

Piedmont’s free EPP program helps customers manage their budgets by leveling out a customer’s natural gas bills, allowing them to pay a predictable, equal monthly amount to help avoid billing surprises. Piedmont determines this payment by adding up a customer’s annual natural gas usage and then dividing it into the same payment amount each month. Learn more here.

Energy-saving tips and tools

Piedmont Natural Gas also offers a variety of energy-saving tips and tools to help customers and our communities identify ways to save money and energy all year long. These programs and tools help customers understand what factors are impacting their natural gas bills and emphasize specific actions they can take to prepare and reduce the impacts of higher usage.­­­­­­­­

Assistance for customers in need

Share the Warmth provides funds to local agencies to assist families with their utility bills, no matter the source of energy they use. Contact information for approved assistance agencies across Piedmont’s service area is available at piedmontng.com/ShareTheWarmth.

The Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) provides assistance to pay for natural gas, electric and other energy sources customers use in their homes.

Piedmont says anyone in need should apply for this and other newly available programs to see if they qualify. For more information, go to piedmontng.com/AssistancePrograms.

Piedmont Natural Gas

Piedmont Natural Gas, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, distributes natural gas to more than 1.2 million residential, commercial, industrial and power generation customers in North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. Piedmont Natural Gas earned the No. 1 spot in customer satisfaction with residential natural gas service in the South among large utilities for the second year in a row, according to the J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Gas Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Study. More information: piedmontng.com. Follow Piedmont Natural Gas: Twitter, Facebook.

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of America’s largest energy holding companies. The company’s electric utilities serve 8.4 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, and collectively own 54,800 megawatts of energy capacity. Its natural gas unit serves 1.7 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky.

Duke Energy is executing an ambitious clean energy transition, keeping reliability, affordability and accessibility at the forefront as the company works toward net-zero methane emissions from its natural gas business by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions from electricity generation by 2050. The company is investing in major electric grid upgrades and cleaner generation, including expanded energy storage, renewables, natural gas and advanced nuclear.

More information is available at duke-energy.com and the Duke Energy News Center. Follow Duke Energy on TwitterLinkedInInstagram and Facebook, and visit illumination for stories about the people and innovations powering our energy transition.

Media contact: Jason Wheatley
Media line: 877.348.3612
Twitter: @PNG_JasonW