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Atmos Energy Asking For Residential Natural Gas Rate Increase

The natural gas bill for your home could going up.

Atmos Energy has a proposal affecting 440 Texas cities, including Bryan and College Station, that would increase the average residential bill by $2.70 a month.

Atmos spokesman Ken Fogle answered questions at Thursday night’s College Station city council meeting.

Fogle told the council the costs to keep up the distribution system are more than the savings from lower natural gas prices.

CScoun022312atmos.mp3Atmos Energy’s Ken Fogle answers questions from College Station councilmen Dave Ruesink & Karl Mooney.

The council unanimously approved a resolution to suspend the increase for 90 days to review the proposal and possibly reduce the Atmos request.

Fogle says it will be considered by the Bryan council next Tuesday.

This is the first formal rate increase filed by Atmos since 2007. Each year since 2007 there have been what Fogle described as marginal increases that were negotiated with individual cities that did not go through the formal filing process.

Background information given to the College Station City Council by city staff:

Atmos filed a Statement of Intent to increase the system-wide base rate (which excludes the cost of gas) by approximately $49 million or 11.94% which includes an increase of 13.6% in its base rates for residential customers. Additionally, Atmos has proposed changes to the formula for collecting rates by increasing the residential fixed-monthly charge from $7.50 to $18.00 and decreasing the consumption charge from $0.25 per 100 cubic feet to $0.07 per ccf. The effective date of this change would be March 6, 2012 as required by law. State law provides that cities may suspend the rate change for 90 days after the otherwise effective date to provide cities time to review the rate-filing package. This resolution suspends the March 6, 2012 effective date for 90 days to allow the City, working in conjunction with other ACSC cities, to evaluate the filing, determine whether the filing complies with state law, and determine what strategies to pursue, including settlement and the ultimate negotiation of reasonable rates.

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Posted by on Feb 23 2012. Filed under Featured Stories, News.

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