Budget Plan is a great tool to help you manage winter payment peaks. The program balances out your payments so you pay more in summer than your actual bills and less in winter. You still only pay for the amount of natural gas you use and you'll enjoy the predictability of knowing your bill amount for six months at a time.
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You can enroll in Budget Plan at any time. To enroll online, or to view the amount of your Budget Plan payment, go to our secure My Account Online login page. If you have not yet registered for My Account Online, you will need your account number which can be found on your CenterPoint Energy bill.
How your Budget Plan amount is calculated
1. Your Budget Plan payment amount is the expected cost of your natural gas for one year, divided by 12 months. It does not include other charges, such as those for the Home Service Plus® Repair Plan. Your expected cost is determined by reviewing weather, projected natural gas prices and your natural gas consumption. Each month, the difference between the Budget amount that you are billed and the actual usage is placed into a deferred balance, either as a credit or debit.
Keep in mind that even if you have a credit balance, your Budget Plan amount may increase. Rest assured you will still only pay for the amount of natural gas you use and the purpose of your adjustment is to even out your projected natural gas charges.
2. Halfway through the program year, we will review your Budget Plan payment amount and we may change the amount based on weather and the cost of natural gas from our suppliers and your deferred balance. If your amount will be changing, you will receive a notice the month before the change takes effect.
3. Before the next Budget Plan year begins, we will review your Budget Plan amount again, comparing the cost of the natural gas you used with the Budget Plan payments you have made. If your balance is greater or less than the cost of the natural gas you actually used, we will divide the difference by 12 and add it to your Budget Plan payment amount for the next 12 months. If you carried a credit balance over most of the program year, we will pay you interest.
De-enrolling from the plan
If you would like to discontinue Budget Plan, notify CenterPoint Energy. Changes to the Budget Plan will be effective with your next bill. However, keep in mind that by staying on the program, you can level out the highs and lows of your natural gas bill, avoid winter’s payment peaks. As always, only pay for the amount of natural gas you use.
If you close your account or if service is turned off for non-payment or if your account becomes two months past due, your Budget Plan will be discontinued. If you de-enroll or if you are removed from the program, we will review your account and send you a bill with the difference between what you have paid on Budget Plan and the amount of natural gas you have used. If you have paid more for natural gas than you have used, we will issue you a credit. If you have an outstanding deferred balance, a deferred payment agreement may be available to qualifying customers.