Gas bills to rise in Westfield

January 12, 2009
Saying its expenses are rising, Citizens Energy Group wants to raise its natural-gas delivery charge for customers in Westfield.

The average residential customer would pay about $15 more a month, or $184 a year, according to its recent filing with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission.

Indianapolis-based Citizens Energy bought Westfield Gas in 2004 and says it invested nearly $4 million to upgrade facilities and extend service in the fast-growing city in Hamilton County.

The proposed increase in the gas delivery charge is separate from the actual cost of natural gas. The latter amounts to about three-quarters of the average bill.

Citizens is arguing that Westfield customers have saved overall since it bought the utility due to improved gas purchasing practices and the use of gas storage facilities. The Westfield utility had the second-highest gas bills in the state before Citizens acquired it; it now ranks 17th out of the 23 gas companies monitored by the IURC, according to Citizens.
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