Today, Intermountain Gas Company (Intermountain) filed its annual natural gas purchase cost review application with the Idaho Public Utilities Commission (IPUC). This type of application is filed each year at this time to provide the IPUC with a review mechanism that helps insure that the costs that Intermountain is incurring on behalf of its customers are proper and are reflected in its sales price.
Over the past fifteen years this has resulted in over 15 decreases. Over the last 2 years, however, this review has resulted in increases in customer prices as the price of natural gas has followed the increases in all energy prices. The prices intermountain has had to pay its suppliers since its last price adjustment were above what was reflected in its current sales price and the adjustment sought in this application reflects that difference. The Company is not requesting any increase in the price component for its own service, operation, maintenance, or capital costs, which has remained the same for over 15 years. Therefore the Companys earnings will not increase as a result of the proposed price changes.
William C. Bill Glynn, President of Intermountain Gas Company, said, While we have continued to experience the impact of higher natural gas prices, these prices have caused drilling for natural gas to rise to the highest levels in the past 15 years and, like any other commodity, increased supplies should have a softening affect on future prices.
Glynn added, We continue to work with Congress to help insure that energy assistance funds will continue to be available through local agencies for those residential customers whose incomes are most impacted by these historically high energy prices. This is a serious matter and we ask for all our customers to help us identify those that may qualify for this assistance. Because of a similar effort last winter, more than 7,500 of our customers received about $1.3 million in additional help from energy assistance funds. Intermountain encourages all its customers to be conscious of their energy usage and the wise use of energy as well. The company will continue to provide helpful tips on ways to conserve and use energy wisely through its bill inserts and on its website (www.intgas.com)
If this proposed increase is approved, residential customers using natural gas for heating and water heating could experience an average monthly increase of $8.70 (13.8%). Those residential customers using natural gas for space heating only could experience an average monthly increase of $4.48 (9.0%). Commercial customers could experience an average monthly increase of $33.28 (13.1%).
If approved as filed, The total net revenue increase from this current request will be approximately $27 million (12.9%) and is proposed to be effective July 1, 2001. A copy of Intermountains application is available for public review at the offices of both the Idaho Public Utilities Commission and the Company.