Atmos customers to see slight increase in rates this summer | SteamboatToday.com

Atmos customers to see slight increase in rates this summer







— A notice sent to customers in their most recent bills from Atmos Energy might leave some people concerned, but Jennifer Altieri, the company’s director of public affairs, said customers should not expect a big change when they open their July bills later this summer.

"The Demand Side Management (DSM) cost adjustment is going from 10 cents to 38 cents per residential customer,” Altieri said. “When you factor in the volumetric charge, customers in Steamboat Springs can expect to see on average a slight increase in their DSM charge of 59 cents a month. The reason the commercial sector is seeing a decrease in DSM rates is due to the decrease in program costs that were incurred by the commercial sector last year."

Terry Bote, a spokesperson for the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, confirmed the news saying that it's slightly more than a 1 percent increase for residential customers. He added that the adjustment is annual and is part of a statute that requires energy providers to encourage conservation.

He said the money collected from customers will be used for DSM programs, which were put into place in 2009 and mandated by the state of Colorado. It is a statewide energy efficiency program designed to encourage all utility customers to conserve energy in their homes to reduce bills and preserve non-renewable energy resources.

Residents will see an increase of about 1.13 percent, while commercial properties will have their bills cut by 87 cents.

Bote explained that the shift depends on where programs that are mandated by a state statute are focused. Those programs include residential and small business rebates, large business and industrial custom and Comprehensive Home Energy Assessment programs.

These programs are designed to reduce end-use natural gas consumptions in a cost-effective manner to save money for consumers and conserve, protect the environment by encouraging installation of efficiency measures that help reduce carbon dioxide emissions and air pollutants and increase residential and commercial customer awareness of available energy efficiency opportunities including equipment upgrades.

Altieri said customers should see the notice in their May bills. The notices go out every year at this time when energy companies are required to submit proposals to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission for approval.

The adjustments will run through June.

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966