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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The Utah Public Service Commission approved a twenty-point-three percent hike in the cost of natural gas yesterday.
The increase should to raise the cost of heating the average Utah home by eighteen dollars monthly. It also reflects an overall increase of $196 million in annual natural gas costs.
The hike is the largest-ever granted by the commission to Questar Gas in actual dollars.
The new rates become effective Tuesday. It is the third rate hike this year.
Questar spokesman Chad Jones says the company knows the increase is hard on consumers, but says it's happening all across the country.
Market prices for natural gas spiked after hurricanes Katrina and Rita disabled some gas production.
Jones says Utah's rates are still lower than the national average.
(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)