CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WBOY) — The Public Service Commission of West Virginia (PSC) has formally approved Hope Gas acquiring the West Virginia portion of People’s Gas, it announced Monday.

In the purchase, People’s Gas is selling its West Virginia portion, including 12,917 customers in 15 counties, for $37 million.

According to the PSC, Peoples’ base rate is lower than Hope’s, so customers affected by the merger can expect their monthly rate to increase by 9.52%—roughly $8.30, but not until Hope Gas files a rate case with the PSC.

As part of the purchase, Hope Gas agrees that it will continue to employ the 23 people who worked for People’s Gas.

Hope Gas announced plans for the purchase back at the beginning of the year. Residents in Lewis County voiced their concerns about the merger in a public meeting back in July, but County Commissioner Bill Randy told 12 News that he thinks the purchase will benefit the community by helping people have reliable gas.