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Unitil's Mass. utility requests increase in gas, electric distribution rates

Unitil Corp.'s Massachusetts gas and electric distribution utility, Fitchburg Gas and Electric Light Co., filed separate distribution rate change cases for its gas and electric divisions with the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities.

The utility requested a gas rate increase of 20.8%, or $7.3 million, over its total gas operating revenue, and an electric rate increase of 4.1%, or $2.7 million over its total electric operating revenue.

The distribution rate increases are driven by higher operating costs, along with expenditures to replace aging infrastructure and enhance system reliability, according to a Dec. 17 release.

If the department approves the requests, the new rates will become effective by Nov. 1, 2020.

As a result of the changes, typical residential electric and gas customers would, on average, see increases of 2.5% and 23.8%, respectively, Unitil said.