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Summit Utilities files to increase monthly rates in Arkansas after a contentious year



Little Rock, Arkansas – In the wake of a turbulent year marked by disputes and a class action lawsuit alleging price-gouging by the corporation, Summit Utilities submitted a request for a rate hike to the Arkansas Public Service Commission on Thursday.

The natural gas company’s senior vice president and chief customer experience officer, Fred Kirkwood, wrote a letter to customers explaining that a rate rise was required to keep offering “you safe and reliable gas service that’s always there when you need it.”

According to Kirkwood, the necessity for the hike was prompted by the need to invest in the company’s outdated infrastructure as well as inflation and general economic conditions.

Our mission is to provide safe, always-on, natural gas for everyday heating, cooking, hot water, and more,” the letter read in part. “It is paramount we are transparent about our need to continue investing in our infrastructure and the safety and reliability of our systems because our system plays a vital role in supporting the communities we serve.”

Kirkwood stated that a typical residential customer consuming 45 Ccf per month will see an additional $18.48 on their monthly bill if their proposal to raise rates is granted. A typical small business sales customer will pay an extra $28 each month on their bill if they use 220 Ccf.

The SVP emphasized that should approval be granted, no customer would experience an increase in base rate until the conclusion of the APSC’s ten-month rate case procedure.

“Through the rate case process, we are committed to working closely with the APSC, the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office, and other stakeholders to remain transparent and establish fair rates to continue providing reliable and safe service to your homes and businesses,” Kirkwood concluded.

Attorney General Tim Griffin started looking into Summit’s invoicing methods after receiving several complaints from customers and several 7 On Your Side investigations, as was previously reported. In the end, the natural gas supplier was found not guilty in August.


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