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PSC approves Hope Gas acquisition of facilities

CHARLESTON — The Public Service Commission of West Virginia has approved the acquisition of certain facilities by Hope Gas, Inc. from Equitrans, L.P. This allows Hope to begin implementing its strategies to bring additional gas supply onto the system to enhance the flow of gas to customers for winter heating needs, and to begin performing important maintenance to the system.

The facilities in question are located in Braxton, Doddridge, Gilmer, Harrison, Marion, Marshall, Monongalia, Ritchie, Taylor, Tyler and Wetzel counties. They serve approximately 4,900 farm tap customers served by Hope, Peoples Gas WV and Mountaineer Gas Company. Hope proposes to operate the facilities as part of its regulated gas utility business. The company has also filed a petition seeking to acquire and merge Peoples Gas WV into its business.

According to the Order, Hope may request rate recovery of related costs in future base rate proceedings, including operation and maintenance expenses that the company will incur upon closing of the acquisition. It may also request implementation of a legacy surcharge to fund capital investment in the acquired facilities. The company must present a cost of service for the facilities as part of its next base rate proceeding.

Following the acquisition of the Equitrans facilities, Hope must convene quarterly informational meetings with Commission staff and the Consumer Advocate Division. The initial meeting must be held within 90 days of closing the transaction.

“We are pleased that the Equitrans farm tap customers can continue to count on their natural gas service,” said PSC Chairman Charlotte Lane. “It’s good to know that in the future their service will be safer and more reliable than ever.”

More information on this case can be found on the PSC website: Click on “Case Information” and access Case No. 23-0317-G-PC.