Houston – Oct. 31, 2023 – CenterPoint Energy filed an application with the Railroad Commission of Texas and municipal regulatory authorities to set new natural gas base rates that would be applied consistently across the company's approximately 1.9 million Texas customers.
CenterPoint Energy remains dedicated to its capital investment strategy for safety, reliability and growth. The company's current ten-year natural gas capital investment plan of $16 billion is expected to largely support pipeline modernization, smart metering technology, growth and customer additions.
“For the benefit of our customers and to reduce administrative burden on all of our stakeholders, for the first time, we will be combining our four Texas natural gas jurisdictions into a single rate case filing," said Steve Bezecny, Vice President, Regulatory Services, Natural Gas for CenterPoint Energy. “Once new statewide rates are established in this proceeding, all future increases or decreases in costs will be applied consistently across the state, including our annual Gas Reliability Infrastructure Program (GRIP) filings."
The need for a rate change is primarily driven by CenterPoint Energy's continuing investment in the safety and reliability of its natural gas system, including new Intelis natural gas meters that feature an integrated safety shutoff valve, changes to depreciation rates that better reflect the actual life and salvage characteristics of the company's assets, and changes in other costs to serve its customers.
“We are continuing to upgrade pipelines across our service territory, further enhancing safety and reducing methane emissions," said Nathan Brownell, Vice President, Texas Gas for CenterPoint Energy. “CenterPoint Energy continues to use data-driven solutions in our work, and we operate one of the world's largest fleets of Picarro Surveyor advanced natural gas leak survey detection."
CenterPoint Energy expects that this combined filing will result in reduced monthly bills for certain customers, specifically to those outside of the Greater Houston area, as well as large commercial and industrial users. Those residential customers outside of that area may see a moderate overall monthly bill increase. The company anticipates the new rates being approved and implemented in the second quarter of 2024.
“As we head into the winter months, natural gas prices are lower for most of the areas we serve in the state compared to last year, which will continue to help alleviate the impact to customer bills. We expect most residential customers in Texas will see an average monthly bill this winter at least eight percent lower than last winter, but that will vary by division until statewide rates are adopted," added Bezecny.
CenterPoint Energy has programs to assist customers who experience financial hardship. If customers are or anticipate having trouble paying their natural gas bills, they should contact the company right away at 800-752-8036 or visit the company's website, www.CenterPointEnergy.com, and should not wait until they receive a disconnection/shut-off notice or natural gas service has been disconnected.
Forward Looking Statements
This news release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. When used in this news release, the words "anticipate," "believe," "continue," "could," "estimate," "expect," "forecast," "goal," "intend," "may," "objective," "plan," "potential," "predict," "projection," "should," "target," "will" or other similar words are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based upon assumptions of management which are believed to be reasonable at the time made and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. Actual events and results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Any statements in this news release regarding future events, such as such as the expected prices of natural gas and the subsequent impact on customer bills, assumptions regarding winter weather, the timing of and proposed rates to be approved by the Railroad Commission and any other statements that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements. Each forward-looking statement contained in this news release speaks only as of the date of this release. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by the provided forward-looking information include risks and uncertainties relating to: (1) the impact of pandemics, including the COVID-19 pandemic; (2) financial market conditions; (3) general economic conditions; (4) the timing and impact of future regulatory and legislative decisions; (5) effects of competition; (6) weather variations; (7) changes in business plans; (8) continued disruptions to the global supply chain and increases in commodity prices; (9) legislative decisions, including tax and developments related to the environment such as global climate change, air emissions, carbon and waste water discharges; (10) CenterPoint Energy's ability to execute on its initiatives, targets and goals and operations and maintenance goals and (11) other factors, risks and uncertainties discussed in CenterPoint Energy's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022 and CenterPoint's Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 2023, June 30, 2023 and September 30, 2023, and other reports CenterPoint Energy or its subsidiaries may file from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
About CenterPoint Energy, Inc.
As the only investor owned electric and gas utility based in Texas, CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (NYSE: CNP) is an energy delivery company with electric transmission and distribution, power generation and natural gas distribution operations that serve more than 7 million metered customers in Indiana, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Ohio and Texas. As of September 30, 2023, the company owned approximately $39 billion in assets. With approximately 9,000 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 150 years. For more information, visit CenterPointEnergy.com.