Questar Gas requests rate hike

Published: Thursday, May 2 2013 4:40 p.m. MDT

Questar Gas typically applies for rate changes twice a year. The “pass-through” adjustments enable the company to change rates to reflect changes in gas supply costs, Questar officials said.

Paul Barker, Deseret News

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SALT LAKE CITY — Questar Gas is asking for an increase in its Utah natural gas rates, the company announced Thursday.

If approved by the Public Service Commission of Utah, the monthly bill for the typical residential customer will increase by about $3.95 beginning June 1.

Questar Gas officials said the request is part of the company’s regular gas cost-adjustment filing to cover costs of buying natural gas for its customers. These costs are passed on to customers with no markup and therefore have no impact on the utility’s profits.

Questar Gas typically applies for rate changes twice a year. The “pass-through” adjustments enable the company to change rates to reflect changes in gas supply costs, Questar officials said.

“Our customers have benefited from low gas prices over the past five years and have seen several rate decreases,” said Craig Wagstaff, Questar's executive vice president and chief operating officer. “These decreases have cut rates by about 18 percent since the summer of 2008."

Now, rates need to be increased by about 7 percent to balance the amount of money Questar collects from customers with the amount it pays to purchase the gas, Wagstaff said.

Utah natural gas rates are consistently among the lowest in the U.S., he said, and should remain so after the increase.

Questar Gas provides natural gas service to approximately 900,000 customers in Utah, southwestern Wyoming and southeastern Idaho.

— Jasen Lee

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