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Houston Squashes CenterPoint Energy Request To Increase Rates

But the state’s Public Utility Commission will make the final decision.

CenterPoint Energy is asking for a rate increase.

Houston City Council voted Wednesday to deny CenterPoint Energy’s requested rate increase. Centerpoint provides all of the city’s infrastructure that delivers energy to everybody in Houston, so a potential increase affects Houstonians no matter which energy company they use. 

According to the city, the average residential customer would see bills go up by around $3 a month. 

“What we know is that the rate that they’re requesting is way more than what the ratepayers in the city of Houston should be paying,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said. “So we’re in opposition to it.” 

Even though City Council voted to deny the increase, the state’s Public Utility Commission will make the final decision on CenterPoint’s request. 

“I don’t foresee them receiving what they’re asking for,” Turner said. “I think it will be significantly less. But what that final number will be, that I do not know.”

According to Turner, that decision could come in October. He said it’s important to strike a balance. 

“We don’t want any to lose power because we don’t have the capacity,” he said. “But it’s important that we reach a resolution that’s right for the rate payers and at the same time provides [CenterPoint] with a reasonable rate of return, which is what they’re entitled to.”

Earlier this month, Centerpoint Energy attorney Patrick Peters told City Council the utility company still hasn’t recovered some investments 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.”

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