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Piedmont Natural Gas Files For Rate Decrease

Piedmont Natural Gas rates are ticking down slightly, thanks to strong sales in recent months, according to a filing Friday with state regulators. 

By law, the company, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, must pass along excess profits to customers. A spokeswoman says the company sold more gas than projected. So it's trimming prices by about 4 percent, or $2.51, a month for the average residential customer in North Carolina, effective April 1.

The decrease still needs approval from the North Carolina Utilities Commission.

The semiannual rate adjustments happen twice a year, in April and November.  They're separate from adjustments that happen when gas prices rise and fall. The company last decreased rates because of lower gas costs in February.

Piedmont serves more than a million customers in the Carolinas and Tennessee. 

David Boraks is a veteran journalist who covers climate change for WFAE. See more at www.wfae.org/climate-news. He also has covered housing and homelessness, energy and the environment, transportation and business.