Friday, January 12, 2018

Richmond Gas Works Announces Increase in Purchased Gas Cost

Richmond Gas Works customers will see a small increase of the purchased gas cost (PGC) in their February 2018 utility bills. The cost for purchased natural gas will increase from $0.450 per 100 cubic feet (1 Ccf) used to $0.525. The average customer who uses 70 Ccf’s of natural gas will see an estimated $5.25 increase in their monthly bill. 

By law, Richmond Gas Works passes on the cost of natural gas purchased and delivered to customers, dollar for dollar, without any markup. Other components of the natural gas bill – the distribution charge and customer charge – are unchanged.

Richmond Gas Works’ PGC rate is currently less than or equal to surrounding natural gas franchises. Richmond Gas Works’ Interim Director Rosemary Green, attributes the increase to demand. “An extended cold snap along the East Coast, and greater demand in the natural gas market, is responsible for this increase.”

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the PGC (purchased gas cost)?

The PGC is one component of your natural gas bill and it represents the cost of the natural gas that Richmond Gas Works purchases for customers. By federal law, the wholesale price of natural gas is unregulated and fluctuates with market conditions. The PGC enables utilities to adjust on a regular basis the amount they charge their customers to reflect the actual cost of the natural gas used by those customers. Without the PGC, natural gas distribution companies would have to adjust their base rates much more frequently and those adjustments would be much greater.

What are the other components of my natural gas bill?
The monthly service charge or customer charge ($12.98) and the distribution charge $5.52/Mcf ($.552/Ccf). These components have not changed.

Why has the Purchased Gas Cost increased?
The increase is due primarily to an extended cold snap along the East Coast and as a result of the associated increase in demand, which in turn has also resulted in an increase in the cost of natural gas for Richmond Gas Works and the entire natural gas market in the northeast and New England states. 

What is the dollar amount that my natural gas bill will increase?
A customer who uses 70 CCf's of natural gas per month currently pays $83.12. Beginning with the first bill in February 2018, that same customer will pay $88.37.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Time to Rake Again!

With temperatures predicted next week as high as 55 degrees, and rain in the forecast, the snow will be dissolving away and we’ll be looking at our autumn leaves on the ground once again. This is a reminder of the importance of not raking leaves, tree branches and excess trash into the streets where the rain will carry them to the storm drains and create flooding. Take advantage of the warmer (comparatively!) days ahead to bag up those leaves and debris.

Here are some simple steps to keep our storm drains and waterways clean:

  • Keep a tight lid on your trash cans and recycling bins, especially during windy days. 
  • Pick up trash in your community. 
  • Do not rake leaves into the street or create large piles near the curb 
  • Limit use of sand and salt on your driveway and walkways. Sweep up residual sand once the snow and ice has melted and before the next rain storm so the sediment doesn’t end up in the stream or storm drains. 
  • Pick-up after your dog! Stormwater will pick up the waste and wash it into the storm drain (and nearby streams). Pet waste contains harmful bacteria that impact stream wildlife and water quality.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Testing LED Streetlights in RVA

We want to hear from you – Take the Survey!
The City of Richmond’s Streetlighting utility has responded to suggestions for GREEN technology  by embarking on a pilot project involving the installation of LED (Light Emitting Diode) streetlights in various parts of the city. 
LEDs significantly outperform HPS (High Pressure sodium) streetlights by offering excellent visibility, color accuracy and energy efficiency. DPU is asking for public feedback of the areas where these new LED Streetlights have been installed. They can be found in the following areas: 
·         Jefferson Davis Highway between Elton Street and N. Hopkins Road
·         Brook Road between Sherwood Avenue and Dubois Avenue
·         Forest Hill Avenue between Jahnke Road and Westover Hills Blvd
·         New Kent Avenue between Cedar Lane and W 45th Street

Let us know what you think about them, by taking this survey:

(For more information about DPU’s Streetlighting Utility Projects, contact us at (804) 646-8555.)

We’re Social! Friend us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter @UtilityBuddy and @DPUStreetNews for all utility related events, activities, street closings and utility work.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Customer Photos!

Amy Fowler recycles the water from her hot water bottle the next day to keep the fresh flowers from her yard looking great

Eric Axelson uses water collected in a rain barrel to water his backyard while his cat, Mavis, pretends not to care.

Stacey Heflin's son, RJ, 2, picks up the poop after his dog, Rocky, because he wants to protect the watershed by keeping animal waste out of the storm drains.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

DPU Citizens Academy 2017

Rodney Mumford explains how gas meters work.

The SCADA map shows how the natural gas is flowing around the city.

Tour of the Operations warehouse.

Gas meters

LED streetlight

Class at the Wastewater Plant

Clair Watson leads tour of Wastewater Plant

Wastewater Plant

Gates at the Wastewater plant pull out all the items in the sewage that won't decompose

Gateways removing items from sewage that won't decompose and shouldn't go back into the river.

Cleaning process of sewer water begins.

Wastewater plant

Wastewater plant

The water that is returned to the river is crystal clear and clean.

Biosolids removed from water are broken down for fertilizer 

Chemistry lab on Commerce Road

Touring the chemistry lab

Senior Chemist Felicia Bracey explains how water samples are tested.

Rain garden in front of new Commerce Road facility

Stormwater Division repaired the creek that runs through Maury Cemetery

Stormwater enhancements for Maury Cemetery creek

Viewing the downtown canal at dusk. DPU maintains the canals and floodwalls.

Downtown canal at dusk.

Floodwall gate in Shockoe Bottom.

Graduation ceremony!

New interim DPU Director Rosemary Green (third from right) with graduating class

Monday, October 23, 2017

Changes at DPU

Rosemary Green
DPU Director Robert (Bob) Steidel accepted the position of Deputy Chief Administrative Officer of Operations for the City of Richmond, effective Sept. 30, 2017.

The position oversees Public Utilities, Public Works, and Animal Care and Control.

Steidel was appointed director of DPU in March 2011.

Rosemary Green has been named interim director for DPU and will serve in the position until it is permanently filled.

Green has served DPU most recently as deputy director II, overseeing the Water Treatment Plant, pump stations, Water Tank Operations and Maintenance, Water Distribution Operations and Maintenance, the Wastewater Treatment Plant, Shockoe Diversion Structure, all CSO regulators and pump stations, Technical Services, including engineering services and CIP projects, GIS mapping, Infrastructure Asset Management, and Development Services.

She has been with the city since 2006, after working in the private sector for 25 years, notably as an engineer for Dominion Virginia Power. She has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a masters in systems engineering from Virginia Tech.