To continue improving the safety of Florida’s natural gas infrastructure, the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today approved 2015 surcharges for Peoples Gas System’s (Peoples) Cast Iron/Bare Steel Pipe Replacement Rider (Rider) and Florida Public Utilities Company (FPUC) and the Florida Division of Chesapeake Utilities Corporation’s (Chesapeake) Gas Reliability Infrastructure Program (GRIP).
“I commend these utilities for being vigilant about customer safety,” said PSC Chairman Art Graham. “Their commitment to systematically upgrading this crucial infrastructure helps maintain safe and reliable natural gas service to Florida customers.”
Cast iron is subject to corrosion which may lead to cracking if exposed to mechanical pressures such as excavation or heavy road traffic. Pitting can occur in unprotected bare steel distribution pipes, reducing the pipeline’s structural integrity.
As a safety measure, the U.S. Department of Transportation has urged natural gas utilities to replace these older facilities. The GRIP and RIDER programs, approved in 2012, allow utilities to recover costs for accelerated replacement and modernization of natural gas pipelines. The surcharges were first implemented in January 2013.
Effective January 1, 2015, the new monthly GRIP surcharge is $2.10 for an FPUC residential customer using 20 therms, and $1.14 for a Chesapeake residential customer. The monthly Rider surcharge is $0.38 for a Peoples’ residential customer using 20 therms. An annual mechanism to track savings in operations and maintenance expense and depreciation is required for both pipeline improvement programs.
For additional information, visit www.floridapsc.com.
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