Peoples Gas pipe replacement program behind schedule for 23rd consecutive quarter

Today the Illinois Commerce Commission is expected to rule on the record-breaking hike in public gas prices. It could also make decisions about the main driver of the rate hike: its troubled pipe replacement program.

And yesterday, Peoples Gas released its third quarter program report showing that the program was once again over budget and behind schedule. Since quarterly reporting on the program began in 2018, the program has been over budget each year and behind schedule each quarter.

A chart shows the program was over budget every year from 2018 through the third quarter of 2023

The program’s progress has been particularly slow this year – as of the end of September, only 29.7 miles of pipe had been replaced. That’s a lower result than every third quarter since quarterly reporting began.

Finally, the report showed how much customers have to pay for the program through the “QIP” surcharge. During the quarter, residential customers paid an average of $17.43 per month for the program. That’s more than fifteen times the $1.14 per month that lawmakers said the program would cost customers when they passed the QIP law in 2013.

Fortunately, the QIP law expires at the end of the year. We have called on the Commission to take decisive action in the current interest rate case to implement immediate reforms to the program – we will provide further updates later today once the Commission publishes its final decision.

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