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Tue September 23, 2008
Atmos customers to experience changes
By Scott Harvey
Commerce – Next month, local customers of natural gas provider Atmos Energy Corporation will see some changes to their monthly bills.
The Commerce City Council last week approved a resolution accepting a change in the Tariffs of Atmos, which will reduce customer charges but increase monthly bills.
Beginning October 1, residential customer's charges will be reduced from $10.69 to $7.00/month. Small commercial customer's charges will be reduced from $20.28 to $13.50/month.
A typical resident's bill will increase by $.81 cents/month or by 1.38% overall, while a typical small commercial bill will increase by $2.93/month or by 0.77% overall.
A typical industrial/transportation customer will experience an increase of approximately half a percent overall.
A new energy conservation program aimed at customers of modest means will also take effect on October 1. Qualified customers will receive up to $200 worth of caulking, weather stripping, sheathing, sealing, water heater blankets and like materials.
In February of this year, the Atmos Texas Municipalities (ATM) agreed to increase rates by less than 20% of what was requested by Atmos. In connection with that settlement, ATM also agreed to a new regulatory regime known as the Rate Review Mechanism (RRM). The first RRM is the one to be implemented on October 1.
In April, Atmos filed its first RRM request. The request sought to increase rates by approximately $42 million. ATM consultants undertook extensive discovery and interviewed key management personnel with rate cast responsibilities. As a result of a meeting between ATM experts and Atmos' rate team, Atmos agreed to reduce its requested increase to $20 million.