Leaky Gas Pipes Costing Massachusetts Consumers
A new congressional report says Massachusetts residents paid 1-point-5-billion dollars over the last decade for natural gas they did not receive.
Utilities are allowed to charge customers for natural gas that the companies can't account for. Much of the lost gas escapes through small leaks in old or damaged pipes. To upgrade the delivery system, utilities have to front the cost. Chris Farrell is a spokesperson for Berkshire Gas. He says his company has spent 17-million dollars on new gas lines in the last decade and so far has had to swallow those costs.
"Cost recovery for system replacement is typically done when a company goes in for a rate proceeding, generally to increase their rates to customers. Berkshire Gas has not gone in for a rate increase in more than ten years.", Farrell says.