Houston, TX – April 17, 2009 -CenterPoint Energy, Inc.’s (NYSE:CNP) electric transmission and distribution subsidiary, CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric, LLC today filed an application with the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) seeking an order to approve the reasonableness and necessity of the $677.8 million the company incurred to restore service to customers following Hurricane Ike. This amount consists of approximately $608 million in restoration costs, plus related regulatory expenses, and certain debt issuance and carrying costs.
The company also plans to file a request with the PUC to issue a Financing Order to securitize approved distribution-related restoration costs and to seek recovery of approved transmission-related costs through the Electric Reliability Council of Texas Transmission Cost of Service cost matrix.
Today’s filing was made pursuant to Senate Bill 769, which was recently passed by the Texas Legislature and was signed by Governor Perry on April 16. This legislation provides for the PUC to determine the recoverable costs related to restoration of service following hurricanes and other natural disasters. SB 769 also authorizes the PUC to allow utilities to use securitization financing to recover costs related to such events in order to lower costs to consumers.
CenterPoint Energy, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission & distribution, natural gas distribution, competitive natural gas sales and services, interstate pipelines, and field services operations. The company serves more than five million metered customers primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas. Assets total over $19 billion. With about 8,800 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 130 years. For more information, visit the Web site at www.CenterPointEnergy.com.
This news release includes forward-looking statements. Actual events and results may differ materially from those projected. The statements in this news release regarding future financial performance and results of operations and other statements that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements. Factors that could affect actual results include the timing and outcome of appeals from the true-up proceedings, the timing and impact of future regulatory, legislative and IRS decisions, effects of competition, weather variations, changes in CenterPoint Energy’s or its subsidiaries’ business plans, financial market conditions, the timing and extent of changes in commodity prices, particularly natural gas, the impact of unplanned facility outages , and other factors discussed in CenterPoint Energy’s and its subsidiaries’ Form 10-Ks for the period ended December 31, 2008, and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.