Liberty Utilities Files Application to Increase Natural Gas Rates
Liberty Utilities Company filed an application with the Iowa Utilities Board on December 31, 2020, in docket RPU-2020-0002, requesting approval to increase the natural gas rates it charges to its customers. Liberty mailed notices to its customers on December 29, 2020, showing the amount of the proposed increase by customer class. Liberty is proposing an average residential customer increase of $7.10 per month, or 11.45%, and an average small commercial increase of $11.08 per month, or 10.20%. Ultimately, the IUB will set Liberty's final rates, which may be different than those proposed. Review a list of frequently asked questions about the proposed rate increase.
Liberty is seeking an annual revenue increase of $566,241, which is an increase of approximately 18.87% and would increase it base rate revenue requirement to $3,567,431. Liberty's current and proposed monthly rates include fixed service charges that are not proposed to changes, plus rates that vary with usage, which are proposed to change.
Also, Liberty is proposing to discontinue the credit associated with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and increase the rate case surcharge from $0.00957 per therm to $0.01435 per therm with final rates.
Iowa law allows Liberty to implement interim rates that temporarily increase customer rates while the IUB reviews Liberty's application. The interim rates are identical to Liberty's proposed final rates from its application and go into effect on January 10, 2021. Depending upon the final rates approved by the IUB, a refund may be owed to customers with interest.
The IUB will schedule a consumer comment hearing for customers to ask questions about the rate case of Liberty, the IUB, or the Office of Consumer Advocate, which represents all consumers in matters before the IUB. Additionally, the IUB will schedule a public hearing to receive evidence and testimony regarding the proposed rates. Details about these hearing will be added to this page and to the IUB's Hearing and Meeting Calendar web page.
Comments or objections to the proposed rate increases can be filed in writing via the IUB's online comment form, by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by mail to the Iowa Utilities Board, Docket No. RPU-2020-0002, 1375 E. Court Ave., Des Moines, IA 50319. Verbal comments will also be accepted at the consumer comment hearing.
Liberty serves approximately 4,000 Iowa natural gas customers in Keokuk and Montrose. Liberty's last general rate increase was approved by the IUB in April 2017.