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Tuesday, October 26, 2010 - 11:30am

PSC Approves Gas Rate Hike

The Public Service Commission approved a rate increase for Atlanta Gas Light customers today. But it’s less than what the company asked for.

Atlanta Gas Light wanted a $48 million rate hike. It got about $26 million. That means come December, the gas company’s 1.5 million customers can expect their bills to rise about 90 cents.

"We have tightened it down just significantly to what was filed," says PSC Commission Chairman Lauren Bubba McDonald,"and I think in all fairness to the consumers and to the company that this modest 88... 89 cents a month increase will hold for a couple of years at least."

McDonald and three other commissioners voted yes to the increase--- going against the PSC’s public advocacy staff’s recommendation which was to reduce rates.

Commissioner Bobby Baker’s was the sole dissenting vote.

"We are coming out of the worse recession of the nation’s history since the Great Depression," says Baker, "and based on recent increases, the company has received for its line extensions and its STRIDE program, the requests being made here were not necessary."

AGL says it needs the increase to pay salaries, implement a new customer service program, and compensate its parent company’s shareholders for their investments.

Atlanta Gas Light is the distributor for ten gas marketers in the state: Georgia Natural Gas, SCANA Energy, SCANA Energy Regulated Division, Gas South, Coweta-Fayette EMC Natural Gas, FireSide Natural Gas, Infinite Energy Inc., MX Energy, Stream Energy, and Walton EMC Natural Gas.

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