Natural gas rate likely to soar

It's expected that residential natural gas prices will increase dramatically this coming winter due to supply disruptions associated with Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita. This is bad news for consumers everywhere in Arizona. Natural gas is used for heating in cold weather areas, but it is also increasingly used as fuel for the generation of electricity.

The Arizona Corporation Commission is currently reviewing a request by UNS Gas Inc., to increase its Purchased Gas Adjustor surcharge from its current $0.03 per therm to $0.27 per therm. If this rate increase is approved, it would mean that most UNS Gas consumers would see their monthly bills increase by about $25.

AARP Arizona is urging the Arizona Corporation Commission to make certain that only prudent costs associated with this proposed price increase be allowed. AARP also recommends that programs be adopted so consumers, especially fixed and low income consumers, do not experience rate shock.

Jon Poston, AARP

Arizona Advocacy Volunteer

Phoenix, Ariz.

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