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Atmos More Than Doubles Base Rate Despite Falling Costs

(credit: atmosenergy.com)

(credit: atmosenergy.com)

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Have you taken a good look at your Atmos Energy bill lately? The base charge on your bill has gone up more than 100-percent!

The base charge has increased from $7.50 a month to $17.70. This charge has increased despite the fact the price of natural gas has fallen from $2.51 per thousand cubic feet to 42-cents per thousand cubic feet.

Geoffrey Gay is the general counsel for the Atmos Cities Steering Committee and said frankly that he doesn’t like the new billing structure. “There are various ways to design rates to ride the same amount of money. My clients have always preferred a rate design that focuses on a low front-end entry fee and low customer charge.”

Gay said the bottom line is utility companies want high customer charges. He says companies want, “On a monthly basis to spread their cash flow out, even it, rather than having most of the consumption and most of their revenues occur in a couple of winter months.

Last December the Texas Railroad Commission gave permission for Atmos Energy Corp.’s Mid-Tex Division to change the rate. Atmos officials said the money was needed to help cover the cost of $400 million in capital projects.

Gay said the long and short of it is Atmos will come out way ahead because most gas consumption happens in just a couple of winter months.

Gay said a number of the 150 Texas cities that he represents are calling for Atmos to reverse the rate change.

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