CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WBOY) — Hope Gas’ pipeline improvement and replacement program was approved by the Public Service Commission (PSC) of West Virginia on Friday. The pipeline program will be made effective on Nov. 1.

Hope Gas’ plan, originally launched in 2016, is to replace more than 1,000 miles of its 3,246-mile bare steel distribution pipeline system with coated steel or plastic pipe over a 24-year period. The belief is that the program will allow the company to recover up to $24 million in costs from ratepayers, “which translates into a 5.84 percent increase in the average monthly residential bill, or $6.54 more,” according to a PSC release.

The approval was “based on a 2015 law” that led Legislature to find that “an accelerated investment in basic gas development structure would ‘improve the safety and reliability of natural gas infrastructure’ and create more jobs,” the release said

Despite two letters of protest being introduced at Friday’s meeting, the PSC found that “there was no contested information filed in this case indicating that the proposed expenditures, projects [and] revenue requirements … are unjust, unreasonable or contrary to the public interest,” the release said.

To learn more about the case, visit the PSC website, click on “Case Information” and access Case No. 23-0461-G-390P.