COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio's biggest natural gas provider won't have to pay the cost of repairing certain gas lines that leak, state regulators ruled.
But Columbia Gas of Ohio, with about 1.4 million customers in 64 of Ohio's 88 counties, still must pay for repairs to hookups known as risers, which could be prone to failure and develop leaks, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio said Wednesday.
The hookups were installed by contractors on customers' property and connect a building's gas meter to the company-owned pipes that deliver the gas. The risers are owned by the customers.
Wednesday's order clarifies a July ruling in which the commission authorized Columbia to repair the risers and reimburse customers who did so on their own. Columbia does not have to pay for repairs to leaky gas lines that do not have risers.
For those who have the risers Columbia estimates the number at about 400,000 in mostly newer homes the company will pay up to $500 to replace the riser and $1,000 for a service line that includes a faulty riser.
Columbia, a subsidiary of Merrillville, Ind.-based NiSource Inc., has estimated that the cost of repairing potentially faulty hookups could be $200 million.
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