NATURAL GAS RATES UP, UP AND AWAY - Allegheny Rates Increasing 40% Or More

No relief is in sight for customers using natural gas.

About 230,000 Allegheny Energy customers are facing a likely 40-percent rate increase from soaring natural gas prices.

They could be facing an additional increase from the utility's proposed sale of its natural gas subsidiaries.

The PA company has announced it is selling Mountaineer Gas Co., Mountaineer Gas Services and West Virginia Power Gas Services for $228 million to a partnership.

The company press release notes the sale is contingent on the state approving a "rate adjustment."

Allegheny spokesman Allen Staggers said the company plans to file the additional rate request in the next four to six weeks.

Staggers said he can't comment on whether the request includes a further increase for customers.