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Questar files request for natural gas rate decrease with public service panel

Carbon County residents can look forward to witnessing decreased home heating costc during the approaching cold weather.

Questar has asked the Utah Public Service Commission to reduce natural gas rates for the winter.

If approved, the latest rate cut of $62.9 million would lower the typical homeowner's annual bill by about $43 or 5.3 percent, starting Nov. 1.

"This is good news for our Utah customers," pointed out Ron Jibson, Questar president and chief executive office. "For the third year in a row, natural gas costs are dropping going into the heating season, so we're passing the savings on to our customers."

"The wholesale price of natural gas spiked to record levels earlier this year," indicated Jibson. "Questar Gas, like other utilities across the country, had to increase its rates to cover the higher cost of buying natural gas on the wholesale market.

But the market is working. Those high prices stimulated higher investment in natural gas supply development in the Rockies. Regional natural gas production - primarily from public lands - is up. Our customers stand to benefit - higher production is driving prices back down."

According to the chief executive officer, Questar Gas' rates are consistently among the lowest in the United States.

Rate cuts and conservation programs help the company control costs for consumers.

However, Jibson cautioned local customers that, although national forecasts suggest stable natural gas prices through the winter, prices will likely remain volatile in the long-term.

Prices are affected by supply interruptions and changes in demand due to weather and the economy, concluded the natural gas company.

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