Intermountain Gas requests 4.15 percent rate increase

newsroom@idahostatesman.comAugust 9, 2013 

If you're an intermountain Gas Co. customer, you could be paying more this fall.

The company filed an annual application with the Idaho Public Utilities Commission to change prices on average 4.15 percent, equal to about $10.3 million in revenues. If the commission approves that request, it will be effective Oct. 1.

Intermountain Gas has about 320,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in 74 communities in southern Idaho. The company is a subsidiary of MDU Resources Group Inc., a publicly traded multidimensional natural resources enterprise.

Residential customers

If you use Intermountain Gas to heat your home and water, you'd pay 3.92 percent more on average.

If you use gas to heat just your home, you'd pay 1.88 percent more — about 68 cents on average per month — depending on weather and usage.

Commercial customers

Commercial customers will pay 7.26 percent more — about $14.18 per month — on average, the company said.

Why raise prices?

The company said the main reason for raising prices is that natural gas costs more, and so does the transmission of gas through interstate pipelines. The change is not expected to bring Intermountain Gas higher earnings, the company said.

A change in temporary credits

Intermountain Gas also wants to replace temporary credits that were included in its current prices during the past year. It would use newer temporary credits going forward. That would still make the gas-cost portion of Intermountain's prices 49 percent lower than in 2005, the company said.

Better economy, more demand

Scott Madison, executive vice president and general manager of Intermountain Gas Co., said the improving economy has put more demand on its North American natural gas reserves. More use of natural gas for electricity also puts more demand on supplies and delivery capacity, he said.

"The continued development of shale gas production in North America is expected to keep pace with increasing demand, maintaining overall price stability," Madison said.

Public review

Intermountain Gas files its "purchased gas cost adjustment" application each year to keep sales prices in line with costs. The request is subject to public review and approval by the Idaho Public Utilities Commission. A copy of the application is available at commission offices and on the commission's website.

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