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Colorado Springs Utilities customers could face temporary price hike

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO)-- If you're a Colorado Springs Utilities customer, get ready to pay a higher bill for the next three months.

On Wednesday, CSU Pricing and Rates Manager Scott Shirola presented to the CSU Board a proposed bill increase. If approved, there would be a 10.9% overall utility bill increase.

"Unfortunately, this year, it looks like those natural gas prices are higher," Shriola said. "So we've come here today to propose additional rate increases for our ECA and GCA rate."

According to Shirola, there would be a 13.5% increase in residential electricity usage and a 26.8% increase in natural gas usage.

CSU provided a sample bill showing how the increase would play out. For a residential customer who normally pays about $260.94 per month to CSU, their bill would go up by $28.52.

Sample of a bill increase for the average customer (Colorado Springs Utilities)

The reason behind the increase in natural gas prices across the country as well as the higher expected consumer consumption as the winter months approach.

"Utilities in general across the country, are increasing their prices during this timeframe. It's in response to the gas markets, Shirola shared. "We're certainly not alone."

CSU, which is a not-for-profit municipal utility company, will present the increase to the Colorado Springs City Council on Oct. 26 for approval.

The increase would take effect on Nov. 1 if passed and would last through at least January 2022.

Wayne Williams, chair of the CSU Board and a member of the Colorado Springs City Council expects the price increase to pass.

"Colorado Springs Utilities does not operate to make a profit. So essentially, we run on a cost basis," Williams told KRDO. "That means when our costs go up, that we have to recover those costs so that we can pay for the fuel necessary to provide the heating and electricity for people's homes."

Colorado Springs does not produce natural gas, CSU acquires it on the market, and then brings the product to the consumer.

"We are essentially just passing on the cost increase that we receive," Williams said of the price hike. "There really isn't any other way to operate the Utility other than to make sure that we are able to pay for the gas that we use to heat our homes, to heat our water, and to generate electricity."

For customers who might struggle with paying the increased bill, CSU recommends contacting Pikes Peak United Way for assistance.

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Spencer Soicher

Spencer is the weekend evening anchor, and a reporter for KRDO. Learn more about him here.


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