State calls CenterPoint rate hike request "excessive"

Author:
Updated:
Original:

Officials with the Minnesota Department of Commerce said that CenterPoint Energy is asking for too big of a rate hike for its natural gas customers.

MPR reported that CenterPoint wants an increase in residential gas rates to pay for pipeline improvements. Company officials said the hike would increase the average residential customer's bill by about $4 a month.

The Star Tribune reported Commerce Department recommended a $21 million reduction in the $44 million request, with department officials saying the hike can be cut nearly in half while still making sure that CenterPoint can provide safe, reliable service and make necessary improvements. Commerce officials predicted the utility''s revenues will be higher than anticipated, making a larger rate increase unnecessary.

Most of CenterPoint’s 823,000 Minnesota customers already pay the 4.9 percent interim rate hike that took effect Oct. 1. In its permanent rate hike request, CenterPoint seeks to increase the monthly basic charge customers pay, from $8 to $15 per month, or 87 percent. That's high enough to trigger what the department calls “rate shock” among customers. It counters that the monthly residential charge should be raised to $9.50, or by 19 percent.

“On behalf of ratepayers, we carefully watch for unjustified rate increases and found areas in CenterPoint’s rate request that are excessive,” said Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman in a statement.

CenterPoint spokeswoman Rebecca Virden said the company will respond to the department's position by Dec. 23.

Five public hearings on the rate request will be held around the state in the month of December. An administrative law judge will evaluate the case and make recommendations to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, which will make a final decision in June.

Next Up

MNDeptofHumanRightsPhoto

Eagan-based Villaume Industries pays $90K fine in gender discrimination case

After the Minnesota Department of Human Rights found the company refused to hire women, Villaume committed to reforms

magazines

11 more people charged in massive magazine scam plead guilty

In total, 63 people from across the U.S. were charged in what prosecutors called the "largest elder fraud scheme in the nation."

Alex Stalock

Wild goalie Alex Stalock claimed off waivers by Oilers

The South St. Paul native will be heading to Edmonton.

Mortensen becker-finn

Shakopee GOPer posts DFL lawmaker's personal cell number on Facebook

Rep. Erik Mortensen has been accused of 'doxxing' Twin Cities lawmaker Rep. Jamie Becker-Finn.

derek chauvin

Minneapolis scraps plan to pay 'influencers' to share information during Chauvin trial

The plan to pay influencers to share city-approved messages during the trials of the officers charged in George Floyd's death drew criticism.

Doll

Toddler called 911 and said 'baby' was dead, turned out to be her doll

We're checking into whether the doll is named 'Chucky.'

Target Center

NCAA Women's Final Four 2022 will be held in Minneapolis

The NCAA unveiled the logo for the 2022 Final Four on Monday.

49920879552_ef6458affd_o2

As golf season approaches, book your round now at Dacotah Ridge GC

The stunning course is designed by world-renowned architect Rees Jones.

ambulance

Pedestrian killed in hit-and-run in St. Paul Sunday evening

The incident occurred near the intersection of Phalen Boulevard and Atlantic Street.

Related