Houston – Get ready for higher natural gas bills in 2022.
CenterPoint Energy sent a notice to customers explaining that the extraordinary increase in the price of gas during the February freeze cost the company $1.14 billion. It is asking the Railroad Commision, the state agency that regulates gas companies, for permission to pass that cost along to customers by spreading it out over 3 years on our monthly bills.
If the state approves the plan, customers will pay an average of $2.50 to $5 more per month. If CenterPoint doesn’t spread out the cost, they say it would cost the average customer between $15 and $40 more a month.
CenterPoint’s application is currently pending before the Railroad Commission. The evidentiary hearing on the application is scheduled for Nov. 2-3, 2021.
The Commission is scheduled to consider the application for a final order at its Dec. 7, 2021 open meeting.
The Railroad Commission also has the following three open meetings scheduled before the merits hearing on CenterPoint’s application: Sept. 28, 2021, Oct. 12, 2021, and Oct. 26, 2021.
More information can be found at https://www.rrc.texas.gov/general-counsel/open-meetings/. The public is free to attend any open meeting, including those before the evidentiary hearing on CenterPoint’s application.
If approved, the new rate increase will apply to bills in 2022.
The new higher rate will be on top of the 99 cent rate increase that just took effect June 17 to cover CenterPoint’s infrastructure spending in 2020.