As of Tuesday, residential customers of Kansas Public Service, Lawrence's natural gas utility, will see their monthly gas bills drop by an average of nearly $6 a month, a company representative said today.
Michael Hertling, KPS vice president of administration, said the decrease is a result of a price cut from KPS' suppliers that the utility will pass along to consumers.
"It will reduce the natural gas price for our residential customers by about $5.97 a month, which is about a 14 percent decrease under previous rates," Hertling said.
Residential customers will be charged at a rate of $0.35863 per hundred cubic feet (ccf), compared with the previous rate of $0.41832 per ccf.
The new rate is 1 cent per ccf below the rate KPS was charging on May 1, 1989. During the past year, KPS announced several pass-through rate increases and decreases that changed the price KPS charged consumers for gas.
In announcing the rate decrease, Bill Salome, KPS president, said the drop is the result of recent decreases in the cost of gas the company buys from its main supplier, Williams Natural Gas Co. of Tulsa, Okla., as well as price drops on the spot market.
Salome said the new rate will mean a decrease of about $71.64 a year for the average KPS residential customer. That is based on a usage of about 100 ccf per month.
Hertling said the last rate increase was in February, which added about 96 cents per month to the average residential customer's bill.
The utility company provides natural gas service to about 23,000 customers in Lawrence and Douglas County. KPS is one of six utility divisions of UtiliCorp United of Kansas City.