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UTILICORP DIVISION REQUESTS RATE INCREASE

 UTILICORP DIVISION REQUESTS RATE INCREASE
 KANSAS CITY, Mo., Feb. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- The Peoples Natural Gas


division of UtiliCorp United (NYSE: UCU) has filed for a rate increase totaling $4.3 million, or 12.5 percent, in annual revenue.
 The proposed increase, filed with the Kansas Corporation Commission, is the first requested by Peoples in Kansas since 1985 and will affect 25 towns served by the utility. The increase will vary by community but will average about $4 to $6 a month for the typical residential customer in most towns.
 James McClymond, president of Peoples, said, "Although the cost of natural gas has declined since our last increase in 1985, Peoples' costs to deliver the gas have increased. We have been able to avoid a rate increase by increasing efficiencies and controlling costs over the past seven years, even though inflation has gone up more than 26 percent."
 Peoples' filing proposes consolidating its rates to allow all customers, regardless of their pipeline supplier, to receive the savings resulting from Peoples' success in buying spot gas to replace higher- priced pipeline supplies. The consolidation will also moderate rate fluctuations due to seasonal gas cost changes and increased competition resulting from natural gas deregulation.
 The filing proposes a specific rate for irrigators and large commercial customers. "Since energy is such a significant part of their operations," McClymond said, "We feel a competitive fuel price is essential to the western Kansas economy.
 "We are committed to keeping costs down and providing safe, reliable natural gas service. We have worked hard to buy gas at lower prices and those savings are passed directly on to customers."
 Based in Kansas City, UtiliCorp provides gas and electric service to nearly one million customers in eight states and the province of British Columbia. The company also is engaged in non-regulated energy and utility related enterprises.
 -0- 2/10/92
 /CONTACT: Phil Hermanson, 816-691-3541, or Jan Zimmers, 402-221-2162, both for Utilicorp/
 (UCU) CO: UtiliCorp United ST: Missouri IN: OIL SU:


AL -- MN015 -- 8402 02/10/92 14:58 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 10, 1992
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