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Columbia Gas cuts rate-hike request

FRANKFORT — Columbia Gas of Kentucky has agreed to cut its requested rate hike by more than $5 million — almost half, Attorney General Jack Conway said Tuesday.

The utility originally sought a rate hike of $11.57 million. Conway said it has agreed to an increase of $6.125 million.

In addition, Columbia has agreed to withdraw a request for a rate mechanism that would have resulted in larger monthly customer charges regardless of the amount of natural gas used by a customer.

In a two-year phased approach, the company wanted to increase the monthly charge from $9.30 to $26.53, before even adding the costs for delivering the gas.

The Public Service Commission, which must approve the settlement, will hold a hearing on it at 10 a.m. Sept. 16. Columbia, based in Lexington, serves more than 91,000 customers in 33 counties.