To the Editor:
On Jan. 26, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio approved the settlement agreement on Columbia Gas of Ohio’s request to modify natural gas rates.
We realize there is never a good time to raise rates, but after not filing for an increase in 14 years, a change was required for Columbia to continue providing safety and service. We heard from customers at six public hearings. A diversity of opinions and constructive dialogue were paramount to finding a solution that met the needs of the many involved.
The approved rate will result in a $3.76 per month increase per household. The outcome allows us to continue doing what we do best – deliver safe, reliable service. We are also working very closely with community partners to ensure that those customers who are struggling to pay utility bills are connected to the many assistance programs we offer. Help is available.
The Home Energy Assistance Program is a federally funded program administered by the Ohio Department of Development that helps customers pay their gas utility bills. Ohio customers at or below 175% of the federal poverty guidelines qualify. Contact a local energy assistance provider for more information or visit EnergyHelp.ohio.gov or Columbiagasohio.com.
I am grateful for the over 1,100 team members we have working every day across Ohio in 1,200 communities and 61 counties. These team members ensure that the service our customers rely upon continues to warm your homes and businesses. I receive kind words from our customers virtually every week about the help our team has provided to people, and I want to express my gratitude for their focus and commitment to our customers.
We understand that rate increases can be very divisive topics. However, we can all agree that working with public, private and nonprofit partners is the best way to close gaps and support those most in need right here in our communities.
Columbia Gas of Ohio president & COO