Kansas City, Mo. – The leaders of the natural gas company Spire make their case for why they need their customers to pay more.
“We need those employees,” Vice President of Government Affairs Scott Weitzel said in an interview with FOX4 on Tuesday. “We have to pay those employees to provide these services.”
Weitzel said there are four reasons they need their customers to pay a 10-11% increase, which amounts to about $10/month bill increase.
“So it’s one of the components, and that was actually ordered in the order of the last commission,” said Weitzel in reference to the Missouri Public Service Commission.
The commission ordered them to reset the accounting of all their employees. The other three reasons Weitzel gives are that they replace outdated pipes. They have to make sure their investors get the right return. Plus, he said the winter weather from February 2021 will cause an increase in the price of natural gas.
“So we’re funding a lot of that,” Weitzel said referring to the bad weather from last year. “Our customers’ bills were not affected. We. Spire paid for it, and it was hundreds of millions of dollars.
Weitzel said this particular increase does not have to do with the purchase of gas, which rose this summer. However, your bill will go up if the commission approves Spire’s rate increase.
Those who can’t afford the increase may be wondering what to do.
“I would say call us and let’s talk about it,” Weitzel said. “We have six or eight tools that we can use to help our customers, especially the customers who are struggling the most. We have one program that actually provides a $35 credit a month on the customer’s bill, which more than takes care of the increase we’re asking for.
Customers who need help paying their bills can, too visit the company’s website here.
The commission that can make its decision on the increase of Spire is asking for the end of January. Weitzel said the increase won’t show up on customers’ bills until late February or March.
There was a public hearing Tuesday night about the possible rate increase. It starts at 6pm at the Klice Community Center near 18th and Vine.
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