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Brazos Valley Burn Bans: The following counties are under a Burn Ban: Austin, Brazos, Burleson, Grimes, Houston, Lee, Leon, Madison, Milam, Robertson, San Jacinto, Trinity, Walker, Washington
Atmos Energy customer, William Turknett is prepared to take matters into his own hands. He lives in Bryan and believes he already pays enough for natural gas.
"I'm sure everybody has a hard time paying their utilities as it is and increasing the gas prices is just one more slap in the face," said Turknett.
Atmos Energy, formerly TXU, wants to raise the gas bills of all its residential customers by 31 cents a month. New legislation allows Atmos to adjust rates annually to reflect the investment the company has made to infrastructure over the past couple years.
Customers like Turknett aren't happy. He plans to collect signatures to petition the proposed rate hike.
"I want to take the petition to the RRC and support no rate increase and in the end influence their decision," said Turknett.
Bryan and College Station, along with a coalition of other cities, are also challenging the increase.
"All of the cities want to be assured their citizens are getting the best service for the best price and until somebody can actually prove that to us you just don't know," said Bryan Assistant City Manager, Hugh Walker.
The legislation also protects the customer. Every 5 years, Atmos must conduct an interim rate adjustment.
"If any of the investment that is now being included in rate adjustment is determined to not be appropriate, then any of the revenue collected under this for that investment would at that point be refundable to customers," said David Park with Atmos Energy.
Park said the 31 cents is a small increase and is vital for providing safe and reliable gas service.
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