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Kansas Gas Service seeks rate increase averaging $4.34 a month

A rate increase request from Kansas Gas Service would raise average monthly residential bills by $4.34 if approved.
A rate increase request from Kansas Gas Service would raise average monthly residential bills by $4.34 if approved.

Kansas Gas Service has asked for a $28 million increase in its base rate to cover its investments and spending on the safety and reliability of its natural-gas system.

The increase, announced Monday, would add $4.34 to the average residential customer’s monthly bill if approved by the Kansas Corporation Commission. It would not begin before January 2017, spokeswoman Dawn Ewing said.

Customers last saw a base rate increase in 2013.

Kansas Gas Service customers currently pay 76 cents a month for safety and reliability expenses through an annual gas system reliability surcharge. The current surcharge rate will collect $7.4 million by the time it resets to zero at the end of this year.

Kansas Gas Service also seeks approval of an annual cost-of-service adjustment that would reset rates each year. The reset would be based on a review of the company’s financial results for the previous year.

Customers who have trouble affording gas service can seek assistance through the company’s Share the Warmth fund, which is administered by the Salvation Army. Kansas Gas Service also offers an average payment plan to spread energy costs evenly throughout the year.

With 635,000 customers across two-thirds of Kansas, the company is the largest natural-gas utility in the state. It is part of One Gas Inc., based in Tulsa, Okla.

Mark Davis: 816-234-4372, on Twitter @mdkcstar

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