MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WBOY) — Hope Gas completed its acquisition of Peoples Gas WV on Tuesday, welcoming more than 13,000 customers and 20 employees.

Hope Gas CEO, Morgan O’Brien said that new customers can expect a new charge on their bill in order to cover costs for the ongoing pipe replacement program.

“Hope Gas customers have been paying for that pipe replacement program through a prep charge. So as part of the acquisition, there’s a number of challenges that the Peoples West Virginia assets have, including an old gathering system where a lot of them are fed off of. So we’ve committed to spend a lot of capital with that, and so they will be seeing a charge associated with fixing those old pipes,” O’Brien said.

O’Brien said that all customers impacted by this transition have been getting communication from the company about what to expect for their future bills and that the company’s growth can be a benefit to all customers.

“Being a bigger utility actually makes it more affordable for everyone. So if you think of having more customers and spreading your costs over more customers it makes it more—I’ll call it efficient for everyone, so in the long run, I think as we’re adding customers and growing, the Hope Gas customers, you know, we’ll see the benefit literally sharing the same resources and making it more cost-effective for all of them,” O’Brien said.

During the transition period, Peoples Gas customers can still call the emergency hotline at 1-800-400-4271 to report any emergencies and any customer service needs as Peoples’ customer service will still be operational.

The full transition to Hope Gas is predicted to take up to 12 months, but starting January 2024 customers will get an update about who to best contact for help.  

In the last year, Hope Gas has grown exponentially, adding 200 employees and new headquarters in Morgantown. O’Brien said they’re continuing to grow and plan on adding hundreds of more jobs in the future as the 24-year, $80 million a year pipe replacement plan continues.

Currently, the company has open positions including for customer service. You can go here to take a look.