National Fuel Gas Distribution Corp. said Thursday it is seeking a 6.9 percent service rate hike, which would mean nearly a $10 monthly increase for the typical residential customer.

If the $25.89 million rate hike is approved, it would raise the average monthly residential customer’s bill by $9.95 to $153.92 from $143.97. NFG filed the rate hike with the Public Utility Commission, which can grant some, all or none of the increase.

The hike doesn’t include natural gas costs. Rather, it covers the charge to deliver the gas through pipelines, along with meters, employee wages, taxes, uncollected bills and other expenses.

NFG said it was seeking the hike due to rising costs of its ongoing construction program and increases in difficult-to-control costs such as uncollectable accounts.

“This requested increase is for those rates associated with delivering gas to our customers and is completely separate from the gas cost increases we have seen over the past several months that the company must pass on to customers dollar for dollar,” said Nancy Taylor, NFG’s senior manager of corporate communications. “We want our customers to know that before we request this type of rate increase, we do everything we can to manage our costs. In fact, we have increased our delivery service charges less than 5 percent in the last 10 years.”

NFG has conducted cost-containment efforts including staff cuts, consolidating facilities and refinancing debt to lower interest rates, Ms. Taylor said. Still, she said, costs have continued to rise making the rate hike request necessary.

Although the utility is seeking to have the rate hike take effect July 30, the PUC typically suspends such requests for seven months so the increase would probably be effective Feb. 28.

NFG serves about 214,000 customers in 14 counties in northwestern Pennsylvania, including Mercer County.