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SourceGas files gas cost adjustment: prices to rise

SourceGas Distribution LLC announced the company has filed its annual Gas Cost Adjustment (GCA) with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for its southwestern service area.

The filing reflects an increase of approximately $10.85 per month, or 21.36 percent, in a residential customer’s total annual bill for the upcoming period which begins on Nov. 1, 2011, and continues through Oct.31, 2012.

While gas commodity prices have remained relatively unchanged, the primary reason for the increase is a significant reduction in the Deferred Gas Cost credit from the prior year. The Deferred Gas Cost reflects differences in gas cost projections and actual gas costs from the previous year. The credit decreased from $0.1683 last year to $0.0056 per therm reflecting actual gas costs that were in line with the forecasted gas costs used to determine last year’s GCA.

In accordance with state law, the company recovers the cost it pays to purchase natural gas on behalf of its customers on a dollar-for-dollar basis, without realizing any profit or loss. The GCA mechanism ensures that customers pay exactly the same amount the company paid to purchase natural gas for them.

The new rates, if approved, will take effect Nov. 1, 2011, and will be reflected in the next billing cycle.

“Despite the increase, residential customers will see average annual bills that are 18 percent lower than in 2008. We strongly believe that natural gas is the fuel of choice for our Colorado customers. It is clean, abundant, domestically produced and it offers good value to our customers,” said Bill Cantrell, president and CEO of SourceGas.

For residential customers in the Southwestern service area, the total of the new volumetric rates will be $0.7566 per therm. Based on an average monthly usage of 68 therms, the typical household will now pay an average of about $61.63 per month instead of about $50.78 per month for their natural gas service.

Residential customers who typically use 148 therms in January (when bills are usually the highest) will pay approximately $122.16, an increase of about $23.61, or approximately 23.95 percent, for their bill in January 2012, compared to January 2011.

Small business customers who typically use 263 therms in January will pay approximately $199.14, an increase of about $41.95, or approximately $26.69 percent, for their January 2012 bill, compared to the same period in 2011.

SourceGas wants to remind customers about the energy efficiency programs that are designed to help natural gas customers in Colorado. The programs include energy audits, rebates on equipment and insulation measures, a program for residential income-qualified customers, and a custom program for larger commercial and industrial gas customers.

The customer response to the 2011 Excess Is Out program was so successful that funding for all programs for this year have been exhausted. Funding for programs for the 2012 year is expected to be available in January 2012.

SourceGas customers can obtain additional information, rebate guidelines and details on the programs by visiting www.excessisout.com or by calling toll free, (877) 974-7688. Other options available to help customers keep their energy costs in check include: balanced billing to stabilize bills, setting thermostats back; installing weather stripping; closing doors to rooms not being used; and inspecting the heating system to ensure it is operating efficiently. Eligible SourceGas customers can apply for assistance through various state and federally funded initiatives like Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP), which is administered by the Colorado Department of Human Services and supplemented by Energy Outreach Colorado. SourceGas is a natural gas local distribution utility headquartered in Lakewood, Colorado. SourceGas and its affiliates serve nearly 410,000 customers and operate 17,940 miles of distribution, gathering and transmission pipeline, as well as storage facilities, in Arkansas, Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming. SourceGas and its affiliates also provide gas transportation, in-home HVAC and appliance service and sales, as well as gas commodity sales services to its natural gas customers.

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