KM customers spared rate hike | PostIndependent.com
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KM customers spared rate hike

Kinder Morgan will not immediately seek to raise natural gas rates, a company spokesman said Monday.

The disclosure came three days after Xcel Energy alerted customers it would seek to substantially raise natural gas rates.

Xcel Energy supplies natural gas to 70 percent of Coloradans, including customers from Silt to Grand Junction and in Vail. The company warned customers Friday that its rates will increase by more than 40 percent for residential customers and by nearly 60 percent for business customers on March 21.



The rise reflects increases in current and forecasted costs for natural gas, an Xcel Energy news release said, and is not expected to drop later on.

The rate hike must first be approved by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission.



But for Kinder Morgan natural gas customers, prices will hold steady.

In 2002, Kinder Morgan locked in gas prices at a fairly low rate, enabling the company to hold off on any rate increases – at least for now, spokesman Les Meyer said.

Kinder Morgan supplies natural gas to much of the Western Slope, including customers from Aspen to Glenwood Springs and from Avon to New Castle.

Meyer said although Kinder Morgan has no plans to increase rates now, that could change at any time.

“This winter we hedged a lot of gas,” he said. “We were able to go out and literally buy gas against a price.”

Executives at Kinder Morgan were betting that the winter in Colorado would be relatively mild – and they were right.

“It was a mild enough winter where we didn’t use up the gas we had locked in,” Meyer said. “It’s all a gamble you take. I don’t know if we’ll be positioned to not have a rate increase down the road, but now it’s not in the plan.”

Contact Greg Masse: 945-8515, ext. 511

gmasse@postindependent.com


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