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Virginia Natural Gas Receives Approval Of Rate Case Settlement

In the news release, Virginia Natural Gas Receives Approval of Rate Case Settlement, issued 20-Dec-2011 by Virginia Natural Gas over PR Newswire, we are advised by the company that the figure in the fourth paragraph, second sentence, should be "3.1 million of costs" rather than "2.9 million of costs" as originally issued inadvertently. The complete, corrected release follows:

Virginia Natural Gas Receives Approval of Rate Case Settlement

    

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va., Dec. 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Virginia State Corporation Commission (VSCC) today accepted the terms of a settlement reached by Virginia Natural Gas and several parties resolving the company's rate case petition.

Today's approval allows the company to continue delivering safe and reliable service to its more than 275,000 customers, while meeting the critical infrastructure needs of a growing region. It also represents the first base rate increase of customer charges since 1996.

"We have avoided increasing the base rates for 15 years by working smartly and more efficiently," said Jodi Gidley, president of Virginia Natural Gas. "In such challenging economic times, I believe this settlement is a fair compromise to the issues raised in our rate case, and is in the best interests of our customers. The rate increase recognizes our operational cost increases and our significant infrastructure investments, including the Hampton Roads Crossing pipeline."

The approved agreement provides for an $11.3 million increase in base revenues and establishes an authorized return on equity of 10 percent for Virginia Natural Gas with an overall return on rate base set at 7.38 percent. Additionally, $3.1 million of costs previously recovered through base rates will now be recovered through the company's gas cost recovery rate. As previously disclosed, the outcome of the rate case is expected to be immaterial to AGL Resources' earnings per share, as the company was previously collecting AFUDC (allowance for funds used during construction) on the Hampton Roads Crossing project.

The new rate will increase the average residential customer's monthly bill by less than $3.50 per month depending on usage.

Customers' bills will be credited to refund the difference between the final approved rates and interim rate increase, which began with usage on and after Oct. 1, 2011.

The Hampton Roads Crossing is a 24-inch diameter pipeline running beneath Hampton Roads Harbor to link previously unconnected distribution systems between the Peninsula and South Hampton Roads. The project also included construction of two pipeline compression facilities in Caroline and Charles City counties.

The negotiating parties included representatives from the VSCC, Office of the Attorney General, Division of Consumer Counsel and Virginia Industrial Gas Users' Association.

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