PHOENIX, May 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Southwest Gas Corporation filed an
application with the Arizona Corporation Commission Friday for a $37.1 million
general rate increase. General rate applications deal with the Company's
costs of operating its distribution system.
If approved as requested, the new rates would add $3.63 to an average
monthly residential bill of $30.10. A Commission decision is not expected
until some time in early 2001.
"The proposed monthly residential bill is comparable to that paid by
customers in the early to mid-1980s," according to Roger Montgomery,
Southwest's vice president/Pricing. "The average monthly bill in Phoenix in
1986 was $33.77. In Tucson, the average monthly bill in 1983 was $35.35.
Later this year, Southwest will remove a one-time gas cost surcharge that will
reduce the average residential monthly bill proposed in the application by
$1.84, making the comparison to historic bills even more favorable."
In its application, the Company stated that despite success in controlling
costs and increasing productivity, it has been unable to earn the rate of
return authorized by the Commission, primarily due to inflation, declining
average residential use, and financing costs to meet the growth demands of the
fastest growing residential sector of the country. Southwest also proposed
shifting more of its day-to-day operating costs to the basic service charge to
ease the impact of weather on monthly bills.
Since the Company's last general rate case, in which the Commission
examined revenue and expense levels experienced during the 12-month period
ended June 30, 1996 (approximately four years ago), 101,000 new Arizona-based
customers have been added and approximately $192 million has been expended to
install the facilities necessary to serve them.
Southwest Gas Corporation serves 709,000 customers in Arizona.
SOURCE Southwest Gas Corporation
Company News On-Call: http: //www.prnewswire.com/comp/804969.html or fax, 800-758-5804, ext. 804969
CONTACT: Phoenix: Garth Andrews, APR, 602-395-4087, or Tucson: Libby Howell, APR, 520-794-6515, both for Southwest Gas Corporation