THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - 25

the pipeline

A Review of Gas Utilities' Excess
Flow Valve Notification Policies

B

eginning on April 14, 2017
all natural gas distribution
operators have been required
to notify existing customers about the
availability of excess flow valves (EFV)
and install an EFV if the customer so
requests. An EFV is a device installed
in a service line that will close if it
senses a surge in gas flow above its
designed flowrate, such as would occur
if the service line were to be severed,
reducing the risk from the severed line.
The regulation specifies that the
notice must include the following
mandatory pieces of information:
* An explanation of the potential
safety benefits that may be derived
from installing an EFV;
* A description of EFV installation and
maintenance/replacement costs and
what those costs will be to the extent
known; and,
* That if a service line customer
requests installation of an EFV and
the load does not exceed 1,000 SCFH
and listed conditions that would
prevent installation of an EFV are not
present, the operator must install an
EFV at a mutually agreeable date.
APGA's Operations and Safety
Committee developed sample
notification language addressing these
mandatory messages and several
optional messages, and provided a
diagram showing EFV installation
courtesy of Hubbell Corporation.
In early March, APGA conducted
a webinar to explain the rule and
publicize the availability of APGA's
sample notification language. A panel
discussion on how several members
planned to address the requirements
of the EFV rule was included at the
Security and Integrity Foundation
(SIF) Operations Conference in
Savannah in April.

In July, APGA asked members to
post links to their EFV notification
webpages on the APGA Community
so that members could see how other
members were complying with this rule.
This article reviews and summarizes the
13 EFV notifications that were posted
to the APGA Community as well as an
additional 23 notices that were found
through a Google search.
Installation Cost Recovery
When an EFV is installed on a new
or replaced service line the cost to
include an EFV in the new service
line is minimal; however in a retrofit
situation, labor and material costs
can be significantly higher. The
regulation allows utilities to recover
the cost of installing EFVs requested
by customers. Actual costs can vary
depending on local conditions such as
whether or not the EFV will be installed
under pavement. If and how the EFV
installation costs are recovered is left to
the utility and whatever body approves
the rates it charges customers for gas
service.
Of the 36 utilities' EFV notices
reviewed for this article, 24 charge
the customer for the actual cost of
installing the EFV. Fourteen of these
utilities provide an estimate or a range
of estimates of typical EFV installation
costs. The lower-end estimates ranged
from $100 to $2,500. The upper-end
estimates ranged from $400 to $10,000.
In virtually all these notices, the utility
advised the customer that it would
provide a more precise estimate before
the installation took place.
Ten utilities in the sample charged
the customer a fixed fee for EFV
installation. Fees ranged from $200
to $1,500. One utility charged a twotiered fixed fee structure based on

the diameter of the service line - a
higher fee for service over ¾ inches in
diameter. Another utility charged one
fee for residential service lines and a
higher fee for commercial service lines.
A third utility charged different fees
depending on whether or not the EFV
would be installed under pavement,
charging a higher fee if pavement
cutting and restoration was required.
Two of the 36 utilities installed EFVs
at no cost to the requesting customer.
Replacement/Maintenance
Cost Recovery
In addition to installation costs, the
rule requires that notice must alert the
customer that the costs for maintaining
and replacing an EFV may later be
incurred, and what those costs will
be to the extent known. Fourteen of
the 36 notices reviewed for this article
stated that the customer would not
be required to pay maintenance costs;
however three of these utilities stated
that if the customer added load that
resulted in requiring an existing EFV
be replaced with a larger model, the
customer would be billed for the cost of
replacing the EFV.
Eight utilities' notices stated that
the customer would be responsible for
any maintenance or replacement cost,
however most noted that the industry
experience with EFVs is that little or
no maintenance is required. Only one
of the notices provided a specific cost
for maintenance/replacement while
others stated that the replacement or
maintenance costs would be similar to
initial installation costs.
Fourteen of the 36 notices made no
mention of maintenance or replacement
costs. This may mean that these utilities
do not plan to charge the customer for
continued on page 30
THE SOURCE | WINTER 2017, VOL. 10, ISSUE 2 25



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of THE SOURCE - Winter 2017

A Vision from Our Industry: Listen, Define, Allocate, Execute
First Person
APGA Events
Q&A: Chairman Chatterjee
Furnace Rule Update
Delivering the Needs of Customers Through Legislative Action
Reaching Your Future Customers
Whistling In The Dark: Shortcomings of Natural Gas Indices Persist
Growth in Renewable Natural Gas
Legislative Outlook
The Pipeline
Marketing Matters
At Last
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - intro
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - ebelly1
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - ebelly2
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - A Vision from Our Industry: Listen, Define, Allocate, Execute
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - cover2
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - 3
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - 4
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - 5
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - 6
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - 7
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - First Person
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - 9
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - APGA Events
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - Q&A: Chairman Chatterjee
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - Furnace Rule Update
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - 13
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - Delivering the Needs of Customers Through Legislative Action
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - 15
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - Reaching Your Future Customers
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - 17
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - Whistling In The Dark: Shortcomings of Natural Gas Indices Persist
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - 19
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - 20
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - Growth in Renewable Natural Gas
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - 22
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - Legislative Outlook
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - 24
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - The Pipeline
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - Marketing Matters
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - 27
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - At Last
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - 29
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - 30
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - cover3
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - cover4
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - outsert1
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - outsert2
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - outsert3
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - outsert4
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - outsert5
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - outsert6
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/PGAQ/PGAQ0218
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/PGAQ/PGAQ0118
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/PGAQ/PGAQ0417
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/PGAQ/PGAQ0317
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/PGAQ/PGAQ0217
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/PGAQ/PGAQ0117
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/PGAQ/PGAQ0416
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/PGAQ/PGAQ0316
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/PGAQ/PGAQ0216
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/PGAQ/PGAQ0116
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/PGAQ/PGAQ0415
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/PGAQ/PGAQ0315
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/PGAQ/PGAQ0215
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/PGAQ/PGAQ0115
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com