The change is the result of a rate review process overseen by the Atmos Cities Steering Committee, of which the city of Richardson is a founding member.
Each year, Atmos Energy files a rate request with the committee. Over the course of several months, the committee reviews and negotiates the proposed rate before returning a final recommendation.
Atmos originally proposed a systemwide increase of $141 million, according to a Sept. 28 presentation made by Cara Copley, the assistant director of finance for the city of Richardson. Following negotiations, an increase of roughly $80 million was recommended by the steering committee, Copley said.
If approved, the change would raise the minimum residential base rate by 70 cents from $19.55 to $20.25 per month, while the commercial base rate would increase by $8 from $46.50 to $54.50 per month.
Consumption rates would also increase, Copley said. The committee is proposing a 10-cent increase to 27 cents for residents and a 2-cent increase to 12 cents for commercial customers. Consumption rates are based on usage, Copley said.
Normally, rate changes would go into effect Oct. 1; however, Atmos has agreed to a two-month delay, resulting in the Dec. 1 effective date. This will result in a savings of $9 million systemwide, which factored into the $80 million recommendation made by the committee, Copley said.
Since 2011, Atmos has added 392 miles of pipe and repaired 5,045 miles of steel service lines in Richardson. It has invested roughly $18 million in capital improvements over the past five years, Chief Financial Officer Kent Pfeil said.
Council will vote on the settlement agreement at its Nov. 2 meeting.