Energy & Environment

Houston Suspicious As CenterPoint Asks State To Approve Cost Hike

Houston and 31 other cities are challenging a request by CenterPoint Energy to pass on millions of dollars in higher costs to consumers.

Centerpoint power station downtown Houston
Centerpoint power station downtown Houston

CenterPoint Energy runs the wires to bring electricity to 2.3 million customers in the Houston area.

But the utility says it's costing $60 million more to do that and so it's now asking the Public Utility Commission of Texas to allow it to charge that amount to customers.

In recent years, CenterPoint has made so much money that it had what state regulators call "excess revenue"; that is, it made more money than what regulators said was acceptable.

The City of Houston and other neighboring municipalities are now questioning whether CenterPoint's current finances mean that it's still exceeding its state-authorized "rate of return" and if so, why would it deserve to pass even more costs to consumers?

Both sides will make their cases at a hearing scheduled to be held in June in Austin.

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