In the coming months, Cedar Park residents could see a more than $6 increase on their utility bills for natural gas services.

Natural gas companies are filing for rate increases under the Gas Reliability Infrastructure Program, or GRIP, statute.

Under the GRIP statute, the state law allows companies to cover return on capital costs associated with infrastructure through interim rate adjustments, Director of Finance Kevin Klosterboer said during the March 7 City Council meeting.

Breaking it down

Cedar Park residents within Williamson County receive natural gas services from Atmos Energy. For Atmos Energy, the residential base rate will increase by $6.73 per month, and the commercial base rate will increase by $22.32 per month.

City staff is recommending council to delay the rate increase by 45 days. Klosterboer said the 45-day suspension will give the Atmos Texas Municipalities—a coalition of cities served by Atmos Energy, which includes Cedar Park—time to review the proposed rate increases and file any necessary comments.

Officials said while the 45-day suspension buys time for review, the rate increases are inevitable. The proposed rate increases, however, will generate $17.1 million across the combined service area of coalition cities, Klosterboer said.

A quick note

For the portion of Cedar Park residents in Travis County who receive natural gas services from Texas Gas Service, the base rate will increase by $2.64 per month, excluding taxes, according to city documents.

Notable quote

“I mean this is unfortunate, because it's a real cost to consumers,” council member Eric Boyce said. “But there’s not much we can do about it.”

What to expect

The rate increases are scheduled to go into effect April 9 for Travis County and April 23 for Williamson County. However, if council approves the 45-day suspension, the new rates will be implemented May 24 for Travis County and June 7 for Williamson County.

Council will consider the 45-day suspension for the new rates at its next meeting.