In this Feb. 27, 2014, file photo, steel pipes that will become part of a natural gas pipeline are stacked in Lincoln. Credit: Nick Sambides Jr. / BDN

The public will have a chance Thursday evening to weigh in on Bangor Natural Gas Co.’s proposed rate hike.

The Maine Public Utilities Commission will hold a public hearing at 5:30 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn on Haskell Road in Bangor. Sworn testimony will become part of the official record and be considered as part of the commission’s decision-making, while unsworn testimony will not become part of the case record.

Bangor Natural Gas announced in January that it intended to seek permission for a rate hike that would increase its revenue by $2.9 million, or about 24 percent, according to the utilities commission.

That could increase delivery rates for the average customer nearly 44 percent, according to the commission.

Andrew Barrowman, the company’s sales and marketing manager, told the Bangor Daily News earlier this year that the increase was necessary because of the growing costs required to operate its natural gas distribution system, which serves 7,500 customers in Bangor, Brewer, Orono, Veazie, Old Town and Hampden, as well as Bucksport, Searsport and Lincoln. Most of its current customers are residential, with about one-fifth being commercial or industrial customers.