PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Peoples Natural Gas announced an agreement with EQT Corporation that could mean efficiencies of services and savings for consumers.
However, the agreement is subject to regulatory approval which could take about a year to complete.
Under the agreement Peoples acquires Equitable Gas distribution businesses in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Kentucky in a $720 million deal.
Peoples’ CEO Morgan O’Brien said the days of two different gas companies serving the same street could be coming to an end.
“We’ve got old bridges and old roads and everybody sees those but we also have a lot of old pipes in the ground, and going back to my example of that street in Oakland served by two different companies, we’ll be able to replace two pipes, two old pipes with one new pipe and the estimate of what that capital will avoid by combining is about $200 million that ratepayers will never have to pay for if this company is combined, which we expect next year,” O’Brien said.
Quantifying the savings to consumers, though, is not certain.
“We know that it would be lowered than what it would be otherwise, you have to remember a big part of our bill is the price of gas,” O’Brien said. “Gas prices go up and down so that, as far as what the consumer is concerned, that’s what they see in their end bill, but we know for a fact that when you compare that to what it would have been, it will be lower.”