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Georgia Regulators Grant Limited Stay of AGL Rate Freeze Order

The Georgia Public Service Commission (GPSC) granted AGL Resources a limited stay of an April 29 order to freeze subsidiary Atlanta Gas Light Co.'s residential rates (see NGI, May 2). Officials at AGL were stunned last week by the 3-2 vote at GPSC, which AGL said would cut its annual utility revenues by about $25 million.

A majority of the GPSC approved the rate freeze, saying it would save gas customers $46 million over the next three years. AGL had requested an increase in annual revenues of $24 million that would have increased monthly residential bills by about $1.39.

AGL filed a request for stay on Friday "in an effort to prevent the company from being harmed while it seeks reconsideration of the decision." But the limited stay the GPSC granted only applies to a small portion of the order dealing with accounting of a 2002 sale of AGL's Caroline Street facility and a $21 million gain recorded from the sale.

The GPSC said during the stay the annualized reduction in the company's revenues would be $19.8 million rather than $25 million. The stay will be in effect for 40 days. The vote on the stay was unanimous.

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