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Dec. 30—Peoples Gas is proposing base rate increases for customers that could take effect in September if approved by Pennsylvania’s Public Utility Commission.

If the entire increase is approved, residential customers who annually use 80,000 cubic feet of gas and are served by the company’s Peoples Natural Gas division will see a monthly rate hike of $15.63, to $88.79 per month, representing a 21.4% hike. Those served by the Peoples Gas division will see their monthly bill increase by $6.35, or 7.6%, to $90.35.

The company said it is requesting the rate increases in part to support its pipeline upgrade program. Since 2021, the company said, it has installed nearly 500 miles of new, safer and more reliable pipelines as part of an infrastructure investment of more than $900 million.

Over the past decade, Peoples has replaced more than 1,000 miles of pipelines, including 181 miles of pipe this year, according to company President Michael Huwar. He said the utility plans to replace 2,000 more miles by 2034.

“Modernizing our system also cuts down on greenhouse gas emissions, and the work we’ve done over just the last few years has reduced Peoples’ emissions by 17% from 2019 levels,” Huwar said.

The two divisions and the different rates exist because of gradual consolidation of multiple Western Pennsylvania gas utilities by Peoples over more than a decade. With the potential merger of the two divisions, all residential customers would pay the same base rates for gas delivery service, the company noted.

Base rates last increased in 2019 for customers in the Peoples Natural Gas division and in 2014 for customers in the Peoples Gas division.

Peoples serves about 700,000 homes and businesses in Western Pennsylvania.

Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff by email at or via Twitter .

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