City of Houston

Centerpoint Energy Requests Rate Increase For Houston Customers

Electric bills could go up soon in Houston.

Centerpoint Energy is asking the city to approve an annual rate increase that would impact customers.

Centerpoint provides all of the city’s infrastructure that delivers energy to everybody in Houston, no matter which energy company you use. That's why their request to boost rates by $188 million would affect the whole city.

Centerpoint Energy attorney Patrick Peters made the utility company's case to City Council Wednesday.

"There are investments we've made in transmission and distribution poles and wires that haven't yet been put into rates, so that's facility that's providing service to customers that we haven't yet earned a recovery for," Peters said. "There are also some capital investments we've made that go all the way back to the last rate case in 2010."

According to Peters, some of those investments were related to Hurricane Harvey.

"Those were costs that the company incurred to help restore and recover from that storm event," Peters said. "I think that it also helps us be prepared for the next storm, which we know will come."

Ultimately, the Public Utilities Commission will decide whether to approve the increase. Some city councilmembers said they were reluctant to support the rate increase because Centerpoint is the only delivery provider in Houston and customers can't switch to another company.

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Jen Rice


Jen Rice is the City Hall reporter at Houston Public Media, where she covers topics like Houston City Council and housing. Jen was born and raised in Houston's 100-year floodplain. She graduated from Barnard College at Columbia University and has a master's degree from the LBJ School of Public Affairs...

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