Minnesota regulators have granted CenterPoint Energy an interim rate increase of about 5.4 percent, a bit less than the natural gas provider had requested.
CenterPoint, the largest gas utility in Minnesota, filed for a rate increase in August, asking for an interim hike of $51.2 million, or 5.8 percent. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) Thursday approved an interim increase of $47.9 million, which goes into effect Oct. 1.
CenterPoint is asking for a full across-the-board rate increase of 6.4 percent, or $56.5 million — money it expects to use for pipeline replacements and other safety and modernization projects. For residential customers, CenterPoint’s full-rate increase would amount to 7.89 percent, according to PUC filings.
If the PUC’s final approved rate hike is less than the amount it granted in the interim increase, customers will get refunds with interest.
Last year, customers were refunded after the PUC approved a rate increase for CenterPoint of 3.5 percent, or $27.5 million — roughly half of what the utility had requested.
CenterPoint’s interim rate increase of 5.4 percent includes the cost of gas, which makes up about 60 percent of a customer’s bill. However, the part of a customer’s bill covering the delivery of the gas and basic service would go up about 13.2 percent.
CenterPoint, based in Houston, supplies gas to about 857,000 customers in Minnesota, including in the Twin Cities and portions of central and southern Minnesota. Ninety-two percent of those customers are residential ratepayers.