A public hearing will be held this week for western Iowans who want to speak out about a natural gas rate increase. Aquila Networks has gotten permission to raise rates for its 142,000 Iowa customers. Iowa Utilities Board spokesman Rob Hillesland says the board approved a 3.42 percent temporary revenue increase, garnering the company an additional $5.6 million in revenue over a year’s time. Hillesland says Aquila customers will see the change on their natural gas bills right away. The temporary rates will go into effect in the next week or two and should raise bills about $2.70 for most residential customers. Hillesland says the Iowa Utilties board wants to hear from people who will be effected by the change. A hearing on the rate increase is planned for Thursday at 5 P-M in the Council Bluffs Community Hall. Another hearing is slated for next week, August 27th, at the Utilities Board hearing room in Des Moines. Aquila, formerly Peoples Natural Gas Company, serves customers in small towns all across the state, including: Dubuque, Newton, Forest City, Spencer and Council Bluffs.
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