Most Iowans aren’t thinking about their winter utility bills when the heat of July is beating down on them, at least until now. Iowa Consumer Advocate John Perkins says his office has given support to a natural gas rate hike for customers of MidAmerican Energy.Perkins says the Des Moines-based utility requested a 26-million dollar a year boost, but has settled for 17-million. If okayed by the Iowa Utilities Board, the rate hike will raise customers’ bills different amounts depending on where they live. Perkins explains that MidAmerican is the product of several mergers of older utilities in Iowa and the various rate structures were kept in place when MidAmerican took over. MidAmerican customers on the state’s east half will see bills go up about seven-percent compared to about three-percent in the west. Cities served include: Algona, Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Des Moines, Fort Dodge, Hampton, Iowa City, LeMars, Oskaloosa, Ottumwa, Red Oak, Sioux City and Waterloo.
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