Columbia Gas of Maryland (CMD) filed a petition to Maryland’s Public Service Commission (PSC) to increase its gas distribution base rates by $5.9 million or 13.3 percent on April 13, 2018. The filing represented the sixth consecutive year that CMD had requested an increase in base rates. Within its role as a consumer advocate, Maryland's Office of People's Counsel (OPC) intervened in the proceeding on behalf of CMD’s residential consumers and wanted to hire a firm to review CMD’s petition.
OPC asked DHInfrastructure staff to review the revenue requirements, cost of service study, and rate design proposed by CMD. Our findings and recommendations were submitted to the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) as pre-filed testimony. In total, our recommendations along with other OPC recommendations on return on equity and depreciation amounted to $2.4 million (40%) in proposed adjustments to CMD's revenue increase. We subsequently advised OPC through settlement negotiations and provided oral testimony on an environmental remediation issue not included in the settlement agreement.