CenterPoint Energy, the largest natural gas utility in Arkansas, has reached an agreement on a $7.6 million rate increase for its 412,000 customers in the state.
On Thursday, the Arkansas Public Service Commission, which must approve such increases, canceled a hearing in the case that was scheduled for next Wednesday. The panel will consider testimony already filed in the case and has about a month to make its decision.
Under the agreement, the rate increase would be 2.33 percent for residential customers. That means a residential customer with a $100 monthly bill would have a bill of $102.33 if the commission approves the increase. CenterPoint has requested that the increase take effect Oct. 2.
In April, CenterPoint had requested a $9.1 million rate increase, which would have been a 2.48 percent increase for residential customers.
The request was filed under Act 725 of 2015, which allows the state’s utilities to make streamlined adjustments each year to recover costs related to invested capital and expenses without having to file a more time-consuming full rate case.
“This was our first formula rate plan filing [under Act 725], and we are pleased that we were able to reach a unanimous settlement agreement with the Arkansas Public Service Commission staff and all intervening parties,” said Alicia Dixon, a spokesman for Houston-based CenterPoint.
Under the 2015 law, the filing allows for smaller annual rate adjustments instead of larger adjustments made over several years.
The parties to the case included CenterPoint, the commission’s general staff, the state attorney general’s office, Arkansas Gas Consumers Inc. and the…
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