On October 16, 2013, the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) upheld the September 3, 2013 decision by an Administrative Law Judge that approved a $3.8 million rate increase for Colorado Natural Gas, Inc. (CNG) in a contested rate case docket. The rate increase was accompanied by the CPUC’s authorization of a 10.95% return on equity (ROE) which is the highest authorized ROE approved by the CPUC in several years. The approved ROE had been opposed by the CPUC’s Trial Staff, which filed exceptions to the September 3, 2013 decision that led to the CPUC affirming the decision in full.
The Administrative Law Judge acknowledged the unique characteristics of CNG in approving the ROE, noting that the approved ROE is based upon general economic conditions and financial market trends and reflects the maturity of CNG as a regulated utility.
The other issues in the docket were resolved by settlement among the parties and included a consolidation of rate areas (a move toward single-tariff pricing), a change from volume-based to therm-based rates for the Eastern Colorado Division, an adjustment for rate case expenses, and a 3-year stay-out before filing a new base rate case.