The Iowa Utilities Board is reviewing the rules used by utilities for so-called budget billing plans after some concerns over big jumps in heating costs. Utilities Board spokesman Chuck Seel says the budget plans were created 20 years ago — and take one year of your gas bills and figure out an average monthly payment. He says the concept was to give a constant bill each month. Utility companies periodically evaluate the plans to be sure you’re not paying too much or too little. The recent volatility in natural gas and other heating fuel prices have raised concerns as utility companies adjust the payment plans. He says some of the payments have gone up as much as 20 percent, prompting complaints. Seel says the board is reviewing the whole process.He says they’ve asked each company to explain how they do the plans and have asked for two years of data on the plans for evaluation. Seel says the board will look at the need for a uniform plan. Seel says the initial discussion has found that each of the four regulated utilities in the state uses a different sort of budget plan, even though they’re all governed by the same rules. Seel says it will take awhile to gather and evaluate the information, so any changes probably won’t come until next winter.
You are here: / / Utilities Board reviews budget billing plans