State approves winter natural gas rate changes

Thursday, October 30, 2003

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- The roughly 500,000 customers of Missouri Gas Energy in the western part of the state can expect to pay a little more for their winter heating bills because of natural gas rate increases approved by state utility regulators.

The Missouri Public Service Commission also approved natural gas rate changes for more than 63,000 customers of various Atmos Energy Corp. districts and for 7,200 customers of Southern Missouri Gas Co.

While Southern Missouri Gas customers will see a slight increase in their natural gas rates, rates for some customers in Atmos Energy Corp. districts will decrease.

Still under consideration are proposed rate changes for customers of AmerenUE and other natural gas suppliers.

All rate changes are effective Saturday for a winter season that runs from November through March.

The PSC cannot regulate the wholesale cost of natural gas, so most of the retail rate changes considered by the PSC simply reflect price adjustments that retailers are passing along to customers.

Rates for customers of Missouri Gas Energy will rise to 75 cents per 100 cubic feet of gas, up 3 cents. A typical residential heating customer will pay about $27 more over the winter heating season when compared to current rates.

For customers of Southern Missouri Gas Co. in Douglas, Howell, Texas, Webster and Wright counties, natural gas rates will rise to 74 cents per 100 cubic feet of gas, up nearly 8 cents. A typical residential customer will pay about $45 more over the winter.

Rate changes for Atmos Energy Corp. customers vary by district:

About 37,300 Southeast Missouri District customers will pay 75 cents per 100 cubic feet of gas, down nearly 5 cents for a savings of $41 over the winter compared to current rates for typical residential customers.

About 12,150 customers in the Hannibal/Canton District will pay 81 cents per 100 cubic feet of gas, up nearly 6 cents for an increase of $52 over the winter for typical residential customers.

About 5,900 customers in the Kirksville District will pay 77 cents per 100 cubic feet of gas, down nearly 5 cents for a winter savings of $43 for a typical residential customer.

About 3,900 customers in the Butler District will pay 71 cents per 100 cubic feet of gas, up about 3 cents for an increase of $25 over the winter for a typical residential customer.

About 2,850 customers in the Palmyra and Bowling Green districts will pay 81 cents per 100 cubic feet of gas, up about 6 cents for an increase of $52 over the winter for a typical residential customer.

-- About 600 customers in the Neelyville District will pay 73 cents per 100 cubic feet of gas, a decrease of nearly 12 cents for a winter savings of $104 for residential customers.

-- About 560 Atmos customers in the former service area of the Greeley Gas Co. in Bates County will pay 61 cents per 100 cubic feet of gas, up 5 cents for a winter increase of $46 compared to current rates.

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On the Net:

Public Service Commission: http://www.psc.state.mo.us

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