City Council to revisit Atmos rate increase - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

City Council to revisit Atmos rate increase

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

For more than a year, Atmos Energy has tried to raise their rates for Lubbock residents but has had little success due to the city refusing to approve the increase.

But things could change as City Council will revisit the issue at Thursday's City Council meeting.

In 2012, regulators with the Texas Railroad Commission approved the combining of Lubbock, Amarillo, and surrounding areas into one West Texas region.

Before the cities were combined, Atmos had to go to each city individually to request a rate increase and each city set their own rates.

Because of the change, Lubbock has changed the way rate requests are accepted.

In November, a resolution that requires energy providers to explain up front why they want an increase was approved by City Council

Council also suspended the gas rate increase for 90 days.

"If you're just looking through a knothole in a fence, you don't see the whole parade passing by. It's a lot easier if you know exactly what's coming so you can make a determination from that," Councilman Jim Gerlt said.

All of this leads to tonight's City Council meeting where members will discuss the city's options.

Under their request, Atmos says the average customer pays about $38.21 a month.

The new rate would increase that to about $42.51 a month.

Atmos says the rate increase will help pay for capital improvements such as new pipelines.

If the city denies the increase again tonight, Atmos can appeal to the Texas Railroad Commission.

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