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Public Service Commission sets more hearings about Atmos' rate hike request
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Tuesday in Atlanta, the Georgia Public Service Commission will hold the second round of public hearings on a request from Atmos Energy Corp. for a rate increase.

The hearings are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Tuesday in the PSC offices at 244 Washington St. SW in Atlanta. If needed, the hearings are scheduled to continue at 10 a.m. Wednesday and at 1:30 p.m. Thursday,

Members of the public are invited to give their opinions. The PSC will hear public witnesses at the beginning of each day, but will try to accommodate public witnesses throughout the day. After public witnesses are heard, the PSC’s Public Interest Advocacy Staff and other interested parties will present witnesses. The Public Staff is recommending that the PSC deny Atmos’ requested base rate increase of $6.15 million in favor of a $2.18 million increase.

Atmos, the major provider of natural gas service in the Gainesville area, is seeking to decouple its fixed costs from the cost of natural gas. Under the proposal, residential customers would have their monthly service charge increase from $7 to $13, while small-business users would see their service charge go from $12 to $20.

The staff proposal would reduce the increase to an average of $1.52 per month.

Hearings have been scheduled on Sept. 3 and 4 at the Georgia Mountains Center in Gainesville, when the company will present its rebuttal.

The PSC is scheduled to make a decision on Sept. 17. Any new rates would take effect Oct. 1.

Atmos serves 65,000 customers in Gainesville, Columbus and a portion of Jackson County.

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