Houston City Council Rejects CenterPoint Rate Hike

The council vote is just the beginning of negotiations with the company.

Centerpoint power station downtown Houston
Centerpoint power station downtown Houston

CenterPoint has filed a rate hike request with the Texas Public Utility Commission. The energy company says the $60.6 million a year increase is necessary because it has had to spend millions on new power lines and other equipment in Houston.

It would mean $1.07 per month more for the average home (87 cents per month for the first year).

But the City Council didn't like the idea. It voted unanimously to deny CenterPoint's application with the city.

"The action today was simply saying that we need to take time to challenge it and we're not agreeing to it," Mayor Sylvester Turner said, "because we're still making a determination."

In 2011, the Texas Legislature voted to allow electricity providers to increase rates in between their regular rate case proceedings that happen every few years.

CenterPoint declined to make anyone available for an interview. In an email to News 88.7, a spokesperson said the decision will ultimately be made by the Public Utility Commission.

The same happened last year when the commission granted a negotiated rate hike after Houston and others had denied it. But that was a substantially lower increase.

A hearing is set for next month.

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Florian Martin

Florian Martin

Business Reporter

Florian Martin is currently the News 88.7 business reporter. Florian’s stories can frequently be heard on other public radio stations throughout Texas and on NPR nationwide. Some of them have earned him awards from Texas AP Broadcasters, the Houston Press Club, National Association of Real Estate Editors, and Public Radio...

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