Tuesday, October 16, 2007

City Council October 18: Atmos Rate Increase

The Wilmer City Council will meet Thursday October 18 to reconsider and take action on proposal from Atmos Energy to increase rates for natural gas service throughout the state.

At the October 4, Mr. A.C. Drones of Atmos Energy requested the city council's approval for a rate hike to take effect upon final approval by the Texas Railroad Commission. Texas law allows regulated utilities to recover the cost of preparing and presenting the case for rate increases upon approval by the regulatory commission. Atmos proposed to exempt the City of Wilmer from participation in the cost recovery for the expenses of pursuing the rate case which total approximately $10M if the city approved the increase prior to October 25. Mr. Drones stated in the meeting that the net increase on average would be less than $1.60 per residential account per month under the new rate proposal. Atmos expects 1.5 million residential customers to be affected by the rate increase throughout Texas.

In a second agenda item the City will consider a resolution suspending the implementation of the Atmos' rate increase until such time as final approval by the state regulatory commission, although the Atmos proposal becomes effective October 25. This second resolution is meant to ensure that the rate increase does not affect Wilmer customers until finally approved state-wide.