CenterPoint Energy customers will see an increase of 5.4% on their natural gas rates starting next month. This reflects an “interim” rate increase approved by the Public Utilities Commission earlier this month.
CenterPoint has requested permission to increase its rates on a permanent basis by an average of 6.4%, or $56.5 million per year. It wants to raise residential rates by 7.89%, more than rates would increase for other classes of customers. The final rate increase still needs regulators’ approval, and is subject to a longer public review process.
If the final rate increase is higher than the 5.4% interim increase, rates will increase again when the final rate is approved. If the final rate increase approved is less than 5.4%, the difference will be refunded to customers, with interest. Last year, customers saw refunds after the PUC approved a 3.5% increase, only about half of what the utility had requested.
You can prepare for higher bills starting October 1: