AUGUSTA (AP) — Maine Natural Gas is seeking a rate increase that would help fund its ongoing expansion in Augusta and help return the company to profitability.

The Kennebec Journal (http://bit.ly/1HBwAus ) reported that the company’s proposal is currently being reviewed by the state Public Utilities Commission and would increase delivery rates by 62 percent over three years. Those rates make up roughly a third of a typical customer’s bill.

The plan would increase the total bill of an average gas user from $2,101 to $2,644 per year in December 2017.

Company officials say rates haven’t risen since 2011 and the increase is needed to help it recoup its $50 million investment in new infrastructure.

The three-person commission is expected to rule by the end of November.


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