Natural gas rates for customers of the Empire District gas company are going up effective today.
The increase in north central Missouri is about 6 cents per 100 cubic feet of natural gas---which is about 9% more than the most recent rate. The new charge is 71 cents per hundred cubic feet. Empire calls north central Missouri its northern system. It includes the Trenton, Chillicothe, Brookfield, Brunswick, Bucklin, Chula, Glasgow, Keytesville, Laclede, Marceline, Meadville, Salisbury, Utica, and Wheeling areas.
Similar increases are scheduled in Empire District territories in northwest and west central parts of Missouri. The new rates are 57 cents in the northwest section, and 67 cents per hundred cubic feet in west central Missouri.
Empire District calls the northwest part of the state its northwest system and the west central part of Missouri its southern system.
The Missouri Public Service Commission says the increases reflect estimated changes in the wholesale cost of natural gas, and a change in Empire's actual cost adjustment factor.
The Public Service Commission says approximately 55% to 60% of a customer's natural gas bill reflects the cost of natural gas from wholesale suppliers. The wholesale cost--which is what companies pay their suppliers----is not regulated by the Missouri Public Service Commission. Those costs are primarily driven by supply, demand, and the weather.
The Missouri Public Service Commission says it does conduct an annual regulatory review to ensure regulated natural gas companies make prudent decisions in securing natural gas supplies for their customers.