Your electric and water bills went up this year, and now Texas Gas Service is joining the party.

The Austin-based natural gas utility got an $8.8 million rate increase, or a 6 percent hike approved. It is the sixth straight year Texas Gas Service has increased El Paso rates. El Paso City Council said 'no' when they went before them in June with a proposed rate increase, but at a hearing before the Texas Railroad Commission, the increase was granted, albeit a smaller one than Texas Gas wanted.

Texas Gas Service, El Paso Electric Company, and El Paso Water Utilities all said they had to go for rate increases to recover their rising costs and investments that were made in their systems. Isn't that a cost of doing business? Shouldn't that come out of their bottom line? Apparently not.

So what does this mean for you? Your bill will go up an average of almost 4 dollars a month beginning in October. The average El Paso residential gas bill will hit about 38 dollars a month.

You'll be paying about $22 more per month in your electric, gas and water bills because of the recent rate hikes. Next year, on average, you'll be paying about $200 per month for water, gas and electric utility bills with the new rate increases figured in.

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