Atlanta Gas Light bills might increase

Thursday, July 25, 2013 12:47 PM
Last updated Friday, July 26, 2013 10:44 AM
  • Follow Business

ATLANTA — Atlanta Gas Light agreed Thursday to phase in higher customer charges totaling $275 million for the replacement of aging plastic pipe.

It would raise customers’ monthly bills by roughly 45 cents each of the next three years when it peaks at $1.45 in 2016 until 2025. It had originally proposed a $1.29 monthly boost starting in January for the whole replacement period.

The concession came during a meeting with the Public Service Commission in which a company executive held up pieces of the plastic tubing to illustrate how fragile it has become since installation in the 1960-70s.

The first versions of what the industry calls “vintage plastic” is susceptible to leaks caused by shifts in rocks or roots.

“Even very small impingements on the outside can cause large cracks on the inside,” said Jay Sutton, the company’s senior vice president for operations.

The vintage plastic gets leaks about four times per mile while modern plastic pipe leaks only once every two miles.

There have been no injuries or property damage associated with the leaks because the company uses plastic pipes only for low-pressure lines, saving the more expensive steel pipes for its high-pressure needs.

Commissioner Stan Wise asked the commission staff to bring the issue up. He was on the five-member commission in the 1990s when it became a national leader in safety by accelerating replacement of what was then aging, corroded steel pipes with plastic.

He said he didn’t need to be convinced of the need for swapping out the vintage plastic.

“Clearly, I’ve seen a boatload of information about this plastic from prior to 1974,” he said.

The commission is set to vote Aug. 6 on whether to allow Atlanta Gas Light to impose the charge.

Re­placement charges are generally the same for all customers regardless of how much gas they use because the commission figures everyone benefits equally from improved safety in the pipe network.

Comments (10) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
nocnoc
42800
Points
nocnoc 07/25/13 - 02:13 pm
4
0
Little Lamb
46081
Points
Little Lamb 07/25/13 - 02:27 pm
4
0
Aging

I once again have to remind folks that all infrastructure is aging. They haven’t invented any pipe, any concrete, any plastic, any metal that gets younger.

corgimom
32627
Points
corgimom 07/25/13 - 03:29 pm
2
0
LL, I thought the same thing!

LL, I thought the same thing!

soapy_725
43678
Points
soapy_725 07/25/13 - 04:57 pm
1
0
AGL is selling gas to the Chinese. Execs go there to eat.
Unpublished

AGL is selling gas to the Chinese. Execs go there to eat.

soapy_725
43678
Points
soapy_725 07/25/13 - 04:58 pm
1
0
Glad we went total electric. GA Power hasn't doubled our bill.
Unpublished

Glad we went total electric. GA Power hasn't doubled our bill.

soapy_725
43678
Points
soapy_725 07/25/13 - 04:59 pm
1
0
AGLdesigned the deregulation. Always. Politicians know gas. LOL
Unpublished

AGLdesigned the deregulation. Always. Politicians know gas. LOL

soapy_725
43678
Points
soapy_725 07/25/13 - 05:00 pm
1
0
$39 a month for zero gas usage. $60 to reconnect if you cancel.
Unpublished

$39 a month for zero gas usage. $60 to reconnect if you cancel.

Little Lamb
46081
Points
Little Lamb 07/25/13 - 10:51 pm
4
0
Only three comments . . .

. . . and this thread made the "Most Discussed" list around 10:30 p.m.

And I noticed they changed the headline to read:

Atlanta Gas Light bills might increase

That's the understatement of the year. You can take it to the bank that your gas bill will increase in 2014, along with your electric bill, your water bill, your grocery bill, your medical bills, your pharmaceutical bills, your telephone bills, your TV bills, your clothing bills, your gasoline bills, your garbage collection bills.

Inflation is the news story of 2014. Watch out!

dashiel
176
Points
dashiel 07/26/13 - 07:53 am
1
1
PRIVATIZATION

Natural gas customers once got their bill from this very company which actually provided the gas. Their gas was cheap and the service was excellent so the public service commission privatized it.

As a consumer, you were then free to choose from an array of "providers" the same way you are now free to pick a card in 3-card Monte. Flipping a coin provides a similar choice: heads you win, tails you lose.

Privatization is communism in its simplest form. This must explain why so many simpletons support it. We wanted a government that's "run just like a business," and that's exactly what we got.

Maybe it's time for government to be run like a government again.

dashiel
176
Points
dashiel 07/26/13 - 08:15 am
2
1
RETRO SPIRIT

Atlanta Gas Light was providing Georgians with cheap gas and dependable service before the public service commission privatized it. Now, choosing a "provider" is like flipping a coin: Heads they win, tails you lose.

Privatization is communism in its simplest form, which must explain why so many simpletons support it.

Running government like a business has only benefited greedy businessmen and their political flunkies. Maybe it's time government was run like a government again.

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
7926
Points
ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 07/26/13 - 10:00 am
1
0
Cheap Natural Gas

Privatization is communism in its simplest form, which must explain why so many simpletons support it.

Running government like a business has only benefited greedy businessmen and their political flunkies. Maybe it's time government was run like a government again.

Maybe it's time for some competition!!

dashiel
176
Points
dashiel 07/26/13 - 10:36 am
2
0
55-gallon drum?

CBBP, The "providers" do allegedly compete. They operate on the consumer in much the same way a flu virus does. When one offers a lower rate, it soon declares bankruptcy and re-opens under another name.

Besides going total electric, the only other options I see are solar panels and wind farms for the wealthy and a trash burner for the rest of us. Georgia Power might be a solution unless you live in Georgia.

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
7926
Points
ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 07/26/13 - 10:50 am
1
0
Trash Burner

A trash burner has been in use in South GA for almost 30 years with a recycling operation. It has provided all power for 3 counties governmental needs and sold power back to Georgia Power. And it's Clean Burning. All three counties were using only 1 landfill that was expected to have a 30 to 50 year lifespan. I have seen this in operation. It also created more jobs in the area!!! Solar and Wind in GA. In the Atlanta Statehouse maybe, but not feasible anywhere else.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 07/26/13 - 11:27 am
2
0
And just a few days ago there
Unpublished

And just a few days ago there was a letter wanting to know why we continue to support nuclear power when gas is so cheap. There's some real forward thinking.

dichotomy
33122
Points
dichotomy 07/26/13 - 02:44 pm
0
0
"Inflation is the news story

"Inflation is the news story of 2014. Watch out!"

You got that right LL. Of course, inflation probably don't hurt so bad if the giverment is buying your food, phone, and paying your rent and it's all tied to a Cost of Living raise every year. But for you poor working, taxpaying suckers, it's going to start hurting pretty soon.

And dashiel.....they did NOT privatize anything. They de-regulated the natural gas industry in GA. The theory was that competition would bring better service and lower prices. Unfortunately, de-regulation has of a single source utility never worked to the benefit of the consumer when it comes to public utilities. When only one gas pipe comes down the road, it does not make any more sense to have multiple gas companies than it would to have multiple water companies all sharing the same water pipe. Somebody still has to pay for the company that owns the pipe and all of the other companies are nothing more than expensive overhead.

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs