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Atmos Energy explains rate increase

“We have people that hit our gas lines that we have to go out and replace."
Credit: KWES

MIDLAND, Texas — Natural gas powers just about everything in our lives. 

From stoves to your water heaters, to your furnace. 

“Gas is essential, this is one of the most efficient sources of energy we have right now," Andrea Goodson, Public Relations Manager, Atmos Energy said. "Of all the utility bills we have natural gas is one of the lowest.”

Even so, energy companies, like Atmos, routinely can adjust their pricing.  

Goodson tells me there are a few reasons Atmos energy bills have gone up recently.  

Since March Atmos employees have been estimating reading meters. In the month of October, they have gone back out to reading meters in person.

Second, Odessa and Midland City council agreed to increase Atmos rates $2-4 dollars from month-to-month.

This rate increase will take effect on December 1. 

Goodson says on average, Atmos Energy bills are around $50 dollars a household.  

“A lot of the cost we incur are system upgrades," Goodson said. "We want to make sure the pipe underground is safe and not leaking.” 

Aside from damage, the new rates will help to cover something else.

“We have people that hit our gas lines that we have to go out and replace," Goodson said. "These rates help cover the cost we incur to update our system as well as replace pipes that are damaged.” 

Goodson tells NewsWest 9 that during COVID-19 they have seen a significant uptick in damage pipes.  

Atmos does not know the exact reason for that. 

It could be because businesses have been doing construction while retail and dining have been slow amidst COVID-19.  

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