Rate adjustment will begin on Oct. 1.

VALPARAISO — Effective Oct. 1, Okaloosa Gas District will adjust rates to their customers in response to increasing operational expenses, for continued system improvements and to accommodate the large request for natural gas service by customers, the utility has announced.

With the consultation of an outside rates consultant, Gordon King, who will become the District’s Chief Executive Officer beginning in October, recommended the need for the adjustment to the districts’ board of directors at the July board meeting.

“As the District grows in both age and customers, our key focus has always been to make sure we maintain the integrity and safety of our pipelines,” King said.

Okaloosa Gas operates with the oversight of the Florida Public Service Commission, which has jurisdiction for the safety of natural gas pipelines in the state. “Safety is a matter that Okaloosa Gas has never taken lightly and the adjustment in our rates is necessary for this to continue. As one of the largest natural gas utilities in Florida, Okaloosa Gas District will continue to expand its services to provide customers with a domestically produced and economical energy source,” King explained.

A residential bill is broken into four components (not including city and state taxes): the monthly customer charge, cost-of-gas, compliance charge and distribution charge. The residential customer will see an increase in their customer charge from $12 per month to $13.00 per month. In addition, the distribution charge will increase from $.0.48163 per therm to $0.56055 per therm.

However, the compliance charge and the cost of gas charge will not change. The compliance charge is $0.1108 per therm and the cost of gas is $0.345 per therm.

“Okaloosa Gas management has been able to maintain the customer service charge part of the rate at $12 per month for the past six years and postponing some of these expenses as our local economy was recovering from a down turn. We are very sensitive of any rate adjustments and will always strive to minimize the impacts on our customers,” King said.

The typical residential customer who uses 20 therms per month will see an increase on their bill of $2.46 per month.

A residential customer who would like to review exactly how the rate restructure affects their bill can log on to http://www.okaloosagas.com/about-us/rate-information/ and use the Okaloosa Gas Rate Calculator to see a comparison before and after the rate restructure.