Arkansas Officials Focus on Conservation as High Energy Prices Loom

OCTOBER 20, 2004 - Posted at 7:27 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The state's top utility regulator says Arkansas has done what it can to curb energy prices.  Now, Public Service Commission chairman Sandra Hochstetter says utilities and customers need to work together on conservation programs.

Hochstetter says efforts to use less energy should be as important as they were during the oil crisis of the 1970s and '80s.

This winter, officials predict natural gas will be about 20 percent higher than last year.  Between 60 percent and 80 percent of natural gas bills are for the cost of gas itself.

The PSC says the average monthly natural gas bill for 100 cubic feet this winter will be between $102 and $107, depending on the provider.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)