West Virginia

State Profile
1,844,128
22
Utility Revenue (Millions) $285.10
$260.00
n/a
$22.10
$3.00
Consumption (Billion Cubic Feet or BCF)

Consumption by Sector In-State

25,072
96
25
23
26
23
Customers 372,192
337,643
34,448
101
Industry Infrastructure
21,840
1,319
25,310
Utility Gas Efficiency Program Funding
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a

Sources

AGA Survey and Statistics System; AGA-CEE Natural Gas Efficiency Programs Survey: Utility expenditures for gas efficiency programs exclude data that have not been released by participating companies at the state level; U.S. Energy Information Administration; and U.S. Department of Transportation.

Statewide Elected Officials Next Election: 2020
Jim Justice (Dem.)Governor
Natalie Tennant (Dem.)Secretary of State
Patrick Morrisey (Rep.)Attorney General
Legislature Next Election: 2018Session Dates: 01/13/16-03/15/16
Senate
Term: 4 year
President: Bill Cole
President Pro Tempore: Donna Boley
Senate Majority Leader: Mitch Carmichael
Senate Minority Leader: Jeff Kessler
Senate Member Breakdown
Democrats: 12
Republicans: 22
House of Delegates
Term: 2 year
Speaker of the House: Tim Armstead
Speaker Pro Tempore of the House: William Anderson
Majority Leader: Daryl Cowles
Minority Leader: Tim Miley
House of Delegates Member Breakdown
Democrats: 37
Republicans: 63
Public Service Commission of West Virginia Commissioners: Gubernatorial appointment, Senate confirmation: 6 year termChairperson: Appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the Governor: Indefinite term
Current Commissioners:
Michael A. Albert (R), Chairman Appointed to Commission in February 2007 by Governor Joe Manchin; current term expires in 2019. Appointed Chairman by Governor Manchin in July 2007
Kara Cunningham Williams (D) Appointed by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin in 2015; term expires in 2017
Brooks McCabe (D), CommissionerAppointed by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin in 2014; current term expires in 2021

As part of its legislative charter, the West Virginia Division of Energy was tasked with the development of the 2013-2017 West Virginia State Energy Plan. The Plan contains the following Governor’s Recommendations: Advocate the economic importance of WV’s energy resources at the national, regional and state level both in terms of their contributions to the state economy as well as their importance in maintaining affordable and secure energy supplies; Monitor and encourage development of midstream natural gas gathering and processing facilities as well as pipeline infrastructure; Continue the efforts of the Marcellus to Manufacturing Task Force, West Virginia; Department of Commerce, local development authorities, and industry in attracting downstream petrochemical manufacturing facilities; Determine the potential opportunities for additional value-added energy investments within the state; Promote alternative fuel vehicles to units of local government and private sector fleets; Work to implement recommendations of the Governor’s Natural Gas Task Force through state and local agencies, private sector representatives, transportation agencies and the task force itself; Support the adoption of the 2009 IECC and 2007 ASHRAE standards for state funded construction and public buildings.

On February 3, 2015, the West Virginia Senator Charles Trump (R) filed SB 390. This bill provides that natural gas utilities may file with the commission, an application for a multi-year comprehensive plan for infrastructure replacements, upgrades and extensions. Subject to commission review and approval, a plan may be amended and updated by the natural gas utility as circumstances warrant. Following commission approval of its infrastructure program, a natural gas utility shall place into effect rates that include an increment that recovers the allowance for return, related income taxes, depreciation and property tax expenses associated with the natural gas utility's estimated infrastructure program investments for the upcoming year, net of contributions to recovery of those incremental costs provided by new customers served by the infrastructure program investments, if any, ("incremental cost recovery increment"). In each year subsequent to the order approving the infrastructure program and an incremental cost recovery increment, the natural gas utility shall file a petition with the commission setting forth a new proposed incremental cost recovery increment based on investments to be made in the subsequent year, plus any under-recovery or minus any over-recovery of actual incremental costs attributable to the infrastructure program investments, for the preceding year. This bill was signed into law on March 24, 2015 and will take effect on June 11, 2015. On September 30, 2015, Dominion Hope Gas filed for approval of its Pipeline Replacement and Expansion Program (PREP). PREP is consistent with SB 390’s objectives of replacing, upgrading, extending and expanding the Company's natural gas pipeline infrastructure to provide continued and enhanced, efficient, safe and reliable gas service to its current base, including to new customer bases in unserved or underserved areas of West Virginia. In this proposal, the company proposes to extend its distribution mains as well as construction and installation of any related main to curb piping and customer service piping to provide gas sales service to unserved customers without cost to the applicant prospective new customer or customers for up to 300 feet of main extension per applicant. Costs associated with PREP would be eligible for recovery through an annual rate surcharge. This proposal was removed by settlement. On March 31, 2016, Mountaineer Gas filed with the West Virginia Public Service Commission for approval of a 57-mile expansion project that would set up a core natural gas distribution system to unserved and underserved areas in Morgan, Jefferson and Berkeley counties. This matter is presently pending.

In its January 2015 base rate filing, Mountaineer Gas proposed an infrastructure replacement program to increase reliability and enhance safety by enabling the more timely cost recovery for eligible infrastructure improvements. The proposed program would cover investments to eliminate bare steel mains and services with the highest leakage rates and other infrastructure replacements. This enhanced investment will accelerate overall safety and reliability improvements by reducing system integrity risks due to corrosion, equipment failures, material failures, and the impact of natural forces, and it will reduce customer service outages through replacement of higher-risk pipeline segments. Investment currently in rate base (or that would be included in rate base in this rate case), or that would increase revenue by directly connecting new customers to the system, would be ineligible. The program would be funded through a rate mechanism, which would be implemented beginning on January 1, 2017, and the Company would commit to invest at least $12,800,000 in qualifying infrastructure replacement each year for the succeeding three years. The Company wishes to formalize this program under the Commission’s direction and to accelerate its investment in this important component of its system. This matter is presently pending. On February 3, 2015, the West Virginia Senator Charles Trump (R) filed SB 390. This bill provides that natural gas utilities may file with the commission, an application for a multi-year comprehensive plan for infrastructure replacements, upgrades and extensions. Subject to commission review and approval, a plan may be amended and updated by the natural gas utility as circumstances warrant. Following commission approval of its infrastructure program, a natural gas utility shall place into effect rates that include an increment that recovers the allowance for return, related income taxes, depreciation and property tax expenses associated with the natural gas utility's estimated infrastructure program investments for the upcoming year, net of contributions to recovery of those incremental costs provided by new customers served by the infrastructure program investments, if any, ("incremental cost recovery increment"). In each year subsequent to the order approving the infrastructure program and an incremental cost recovery increment, the natural gas utility shall file a petition with the commission setting forth a new proposed incremental cost recovery increment based on investments to be made in the subsequent year, plus any under-recovery or minus any over-recovery of actual incremental costs attributable to the infrastructure program investments, for the preceding year. This bill was signed into law on March 24, 2015 and will take effect on June 11, 2015. On September 30, 2015, Dominion Hope Gas filed for approval of its Pipeline Replacement and Expansion Program (PREP). PREP is consistent with SB 390’s objectives of replacing, upgrading, extending and expanding the Company's natural gas pipeline infrastructure to provide continued and enhanced, efficient, safe and reliable gas service to its current base, including to new customer bases in unserved or underserved areas of West Virginia. PREP features two separate replacement initiatives. The first is a 50-year program to accomplish the following goals: o Replace bare steel distribution mains; o Replace unprotected, ineffectively coated steel distribution mains; o Replace unprotected bare steel services; o Enhance or upgrade system facilities; and o Replace aged gas measurement and regulation equipment The second replacement initiative is the company’s proposal to prospectively replace existing gas sales service customer’ piping (CSP) if it is found to be bare steel in the course of associated mainline replacements or when the time comes in the future to replace that customer-owned CSP due to its age or condition. Costs associated with PREP would be eligible for recovery through an annual rate surcharge. On July 31, 2015, Mountaineer Gas Company (MGC) filed for approval of an Infrastructure Replacement and Expansion Program (IREP). On October 9, 2015, the parties in this proceeding filed a Joint Stipulation and Agreement for Settlement (Joint Stipulation). In the Joint Stipulation, the parties recommended that the Commission authorize a total 2016 revenue increase of $565,758, using the customer class allocation determined in above-referenced rate proceeding. The IREP rate component for IS and LGS customers will also be expressed as a fixed customer charge, as opposed of the volumetric calculation that MGC had proposed in its IREP Application. The parties asserted that this change would not affect other rate schedules. The parties also agreed that the IREP rate component would not apply to customers who receive service under one or more special contracts filed with the Commission. The Commission approved the Joint Stipulation on December 23, 2015. On February 4, 2016, the West Virginia Public Service Commission approved a Joint Stipulation and Agreement for Settlement that provides for a Pipeline Replacement and Expansion Program (PREP) and a PREP cost recovery component to the base rates of Hope Gas (Dominion Hope). The Commission modified the Joint Stipulation as it relates to the filing of quarterly reports as part of a pilot program. The approved Stipulation reflects the parties’ agreement to a 2016 projected PREP capital investment of approximately $20.5 million. The approved agreement allows Dominion Hope to collect a total 2016 revenue increase of $862,014 using the customer class allocations and rate of return on equity determined in Dominion Hope’s last base rate proceeding. The company’s initial filing separated proposed projects into 3 categories. Categories 1 and 3 were approved. Category 1 projects -- The largest category of proposed capital investment, these projects will replace and upgrade aged infrastructure, including distribution mains, service lines and appurtenant facilities. When individual PREP projects are completed Dominion Hope will prepare a work order package that contains the same information that was approved in the Mountaineer SB 390 proceeding: the materials used (type and amount), unit prices, work force used (internal or contracted), total project cost, construction period and duration, project in-service date and related details. These packages will be available to Commission Staff and the Consumer Advocate Division for auditing purposes. The Commission also approved the parties request for approval of a three-year pilot program in which Category 3 projects - Dominion Hope’s repair, replacement and installation of customer service piping. These projects will also be included in the capital investment for PREP cost recovery. The pilot program will begin March 1, 2016, and end December 31, 2018.

In April 2013, Mountaineer Gas Co. requested that the West Virginia Public Service Commission approve a new rate schedule specifically for natural gas used as a vehicle fuel and a one-time credit offer to help customers with initial NGV expenses, according to a recent filing. The company proposed a $1,000 credit for use over three years to offset the incremental cost of purchasing an NGV or to install the appropriate fueling equipment, noting that current and pending legislation encourage NGV use and related infrastructure developments. This tariff was approved on August 5, 2013.