City Councilman Wants To Battle Atmos - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

1/9/06

City Councilman Wants To Battle Atmos

You may be turning up the heat and that may affect your energy bill, but it's a new Atmos surcharge that is raising eyebrows.

Your next Atmos bill will include a $1.21 surcharge. It was approved in December to cover an increase in infrastructure and operational costs. But, City Councilman Gary Boren is proposing a resolution to repeal the surcharge. He believes Atmos is passing on charges to customers that aren't necessary.

"Anytime a company is trying to charge things like the ice makers, sofas, laptop computers back to the citizens, I think that makes me wonder what else might be there that they're trying to charge back to us," said Boren.

The $1.21 increase was made possible by a state law called GRIP. Boren also wants to repeal the GRIP ordinance and go back to rate hearings. Dan Alderson, Director of Public Affairs for Atmos, says if that were to happen, surcharges would go up even more.

"For customers, Grip allows small adjustments, hopefully easier on senior citizens, those on fixed incomes to pay $1.21 than $5 or $10 dollars at once, one small adjustment that is truly up for review in five years," said Alderson.

GRIP or not, Alderson says gas prices are high and that's 90% of your bill. Boren presents his resolutions to the city council on Thursday, we'll be there to bring you more on this developing story.

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