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PSC wants to restudy changes to Atmos gas rates

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) -- Regulators want to look again at an Atmos Energy Corp. plan to raise connection charges and cut rates for natural gas.

The Mississippi Public Service Commission voted Tuesday for more study, with commissioners expressing concerns about raising bills for people who use little natural gas in summer.

Dallas-based Atmos wants to raise monthly connection charges by $2 a month for residences and $5 a month for businesses. The utility would cut natural gas charges, holding revenue flat. The change would lower bills for customers who use large amounts of gas, while raising bills for those who use less.

Northern District Commissioner Brandon Presley, a Democrat, and Southern District Commissioner Leonard Bentz, a Republican, both want the Public Utilities Staff to look at other options.

Atmos serves 263,000 customers in Mississippi.