The utility continues to make major investments in safety and reliability, including modernizing infrastructure to prevent leaks and comply with stricter federal regulations
CenterPoint Energy (NYSE: CNP) today filed an application with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) requesting an adjustment to distribution charges for the company’s natural gas business in Minnesota.
The proposed rate adjustment would support major investments in the continued safety and reliability of the approximately 14,000-mile pipeline system that serves more than 860,000 CenterPoint Energy customers in Minnesota.
Specifically, if the rate adjustment is approved, it would help cover the rising costs of infrastructure projects to replace or upgrade pipelines to prevent leaks and comply with more stringent federal pipeline regulations. It would also help cover costs related to a growing number of local road construction and other public works projects that require CenterPoint Energy to relocate pipelines and equipment. Current rates do not provide adequate revenue to cover these increased costs.
“Our customers and communities benefit from the essential investments we make to ensure the safety and reliability of our natural gas distribution system,” said Brad Tutunjian, vice president of the Minnesota region for CenterPoint Energy. “For example, we are modernizing our infrastructure and replacing many existing pipelines with even more resilient materials that will maximize safety.”
Tutunjian added: “About 80 percent of the homes in our Minnesota service area depend on natural gas for heat. As another winter heating season arrives, CenterPoint Energy is committed to delivering reliable, affordable clean energy that is available around the clock, even on the coldest days, to keep Minnesotans safe and warm.”
With the proposed adjustment, the average residential customer bill would increase by about $4.80 per month. Currently, the average residential customer pays about $55 per month for natural gas service, with most of these costs incurred during the winter heating season.
Even with the proposed adjustment, monthly bills for the average CenterPoint Energy residential customer in Minnesota would still be nearly 35 percent lower than a decade ago, due to a decline in natural gas prices partially offset by increases in delivery rates.
Source: Company Press Release