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Rate increase for Colorado Springs Utilities approved due to ‘record-breaking’ fuel prices

Published: Mar. 9, 2021 at 3:35 PM MST
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Colorado Springs Utilities Release) - Colorado Springs’ City Council unanimously approved a cost increase for Colorado Springs Utilities gas customers on Tuesday, in response to record-breaking fuel prices during a mid-February weather event.

The increase is effective March 11, 2021. Sample customer monthly bill impacts are as follows:

· Residential: $21.99 (9.5% of sample four-service bill)

· Commercial: 31.3% of sample four-service bill ($454.46)

· Industrial: 11% of sample four-service bill ($4,544.60)

Sample bill amounts are based on the following monthly use: 60 CCF (one hundred cubic feet) for residential; 1,240 CCF for commercial and 12,400 CCF for industrial customers. Natural gas use is typically higher in the winter and lower in the summer. Customers’ bills are impacted based on how much natural gas is used in their home or business each month.

“We understand the past year has been difficult and want to help customers through this time. We’ve suspended disconnects until further notice and will continue to offer payment plans and assistance programs, such as the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP), Project COPE and Energy Outreach Colorado,” said CEO Aram Benyamin.

When fuel costs change – up or down – Springs Utilities passes those costs directly on to customers, it does not profit from customer rates. Springs Utilities most recently passed on decreases to customers on Feb. 1.

On Feb. 14, Springs Utilities set an all-time peak for winter use and extreme demand for electricity and natural gas caused fuel prices to surge across the country.

In conditions like the utility recently experienced, it follows Utilities Board-approved policy guidelines to recommend cost adjustments. This is necessary to carefully balance the financial stability of the community-owned utility while supporting its customers.

To continue to provide reliable service during the abnormal deep freeze, Springs Utilities utilized its propane air plant to stretch natural gas supplies, used gas from storage and generated electricity using natural gas, wind, solar, hydro and coal. Customers also helped by taking steps to conserve energy.

For more information on the cost adjustments please visit csu.org.