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PSC endorses Hope acquisition of Peoples

CHARLESTON — The Public Service Commission of West Virginia granted formal approval Monday for the acquisition of a smaller central West Virginia gas utility and its merger into Hope Gas Inc.

For $37 million, Hope will acquire Peoples Gas WV LLC, which has 12,917 customers in 15 counties, many of which are served by Hope, a Morgantown-based utility.

Peoples’ base rates are lower than Hope’s and will continue at that level until Hope files a rate case with the commission. However, Hope will apply a surcharge currently in effect for its pipeline replacement and expansion program that would cost Peoples’ customers $8.30 monthly, or a 9.52% increase. This “legacy surcharge” is being applied to existing Hope customers.

Under the agreement, Hope would continue to employ Peoples’ 23 employees in the state.

More information on this case can be found on the PSC website: