The Public Utility Commission Thursday approved a modified infrastructure improvement plan, along with a one-time adjustment to a related customer charge, intended to dramatically accelerate the replacement of aging natural gas pipelines in Philadelphia.
The Commission voted 4-0 to approve a Long-Term Infrastructure Improvement Plan submitted by the Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW), which outlines an additional $11 million in pipeline replacement spending per year – targeted at PGW’s aging cast iron mains.
Those added funds are expected to accelerate the timeline for replacement of “at risk” pipelines by nearly 40 years.
As noted in a 2015 PUC staff report, PGW has the highest percentage of at-risk pipe of any regulated gas company in Pennsylvania – by at least a factor of two. In that report, the PUC report identified numerous mechanisms to increase the pace of pipeline replacement in Philadelphia.
The Commission also voted 4-0 to approve a PGW request related to the Distribution System Improvement Charge (DSIC), which is being used to fund the expanded pipeline replacement – addressing a one-time $11.4 million under collection of the DSIC during 2015 which could have impacted the tempo of future pipeline replacement efforts.For more information on DSIC, visit the PUC’s Distribution System Improvement Charges webpage.