Residents Cringe at High Gas Bills

By  | 

"Our bill went up over $100," said Carl Lester, resident, College Station.

That's the typical reaction from many local residents who were shocked when they opened their December gas bill.

In fact, Carl Lester of College Station thought someone must have made a typo.

"Look at this, did they make a mistake that's the first thing," said Lester.

Lester says in November his gas bill was about $49, but in December it jumped to $166.

David Park with Atmos Energy says the price of natural gas is a lot higher than it was this time last year so monthly gas bills have increased.

"What we're charging the customer on the bill is what we've paid for it and that price is considerably higher than it was last year," said David Park, community relations, Atmos Energy.

Atmos makes its profit off of distribution rates and Park says those haven't increased in recent months. So any monthly bill increase is directly related to personal usage.

"As they use more gas, their bill goes up," said Park.

But Lester isn't convinced.

"We haven't used any more gas or any less but yet the bill's gone up a phenomenal amount," said Lester.

Lester likens it to highway robbery, but he's fortunate he is able to pay it. Still, he's worried about other residents who can't

"What's going to happen to these people that don't have a little money coming in, that are working on a strict budget," said Lester.

Don Fazzino with the City of College Station says while they can't help citizens out with natural gas costs, the city is keeping an eye on Atmos to make sure its distribution rates don't get out of control.

"Anytime a gas utility comes to a city with a rate adjustment cities have the jurisdiction or authority to review those rates," said Don Fazzino, manager of special projects and legislative affairs, City of College Station.

So while the December bill has made many residents cringe, the good news is help from Mother Nature is on the way, because gas bills always decrease in the spring and summer.