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Summary: Currently, gas utilities are required to begin notifying customers of rate increases a month before the change takes place. The utility most post in a widely circulated newspaper once a week leading up to the rate increase. The utilities may also notify customers by mail or on the bill. HB 1488 would also allow the utilities to notify customers by e-mail if the e-mail addresses are available.
Analysis: By allowing e-mail notifications, HB 1488 removes an outdated regulatory barrier preventing gas utilities from using email to notify customers of rate increases. Rate payers are more likely to actually see the rate increase notice if it comes to their email than in the fine print on the back pages of a newspaper. Removing this regulatory barrier is good for limited government. We support HB 1488.