Natural gas charges change?
By Stephanie Johns
City Manager David Nunn recently shared preliminary details about a proposed change to the natural gas base charges.
Right now they charge $4.63 for each customer, regardless of size of account or size of meter, he said.
“The effort and the expense required to serve meters is not the same for all of them,” he said. “Small residential meters are one thing; it’s pretty simple. The very large commercial industrial meter is quite a different thing.”
Nunn recommended they introduce a base charge that reflects the effort and cost of running the system.
The base charge is what the department relies on to cover the everyday costs of doing business, he said.
“I do feel it’s justified,” he said, noting that they have not done this in the 24 years he has been with the city.
He noted that there are fixed costs of running the system, such as labor, that do not change regardless of how much gas they sell.
The plan is to leave the rate alone, he said.
“Regardless if gas costs come down the rate stays or the margin stays the same,” he said. “If it goes way up it stays the same.”
Nunn said they will look at how other cities do this and can discuss it further during a work session.
Printed in the February 14, 2013 edition