CenterPoint Energy files to change natural gas distribution rates for customers in Minnesota

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CenterPoint Energy files to change natural gas distribution rates for customers in Minnesota

August 3, 2015

Capital investments for system safety and reliability are primary drivers for proposed rate change

MINNEAPOLIS, Aug. 3, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- CenterPoint Energy CNP, +0.31%  today filed an application with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) to change the company's natural gas distribution rates.  If approved, the new rates would generate approximately $54 million or 6 percent in additional revenue on an annual basis. The effect on individual monthly bills will vary depending on natural gas use. If approved, the net impact of the new rates will increase the average residential customer's bill by about $5 per month.

"Our significant investments, such as our ongoing pipeline replacement programs, maintain the safety and reliability of our natural gas system and benefit our customers and communities," said Joe Vortherms, division vice president of CenterPoint Energy's regional gas operations. "These capital investments, which are the primary reasons for this proposed increase, help ensure that we have a modernized, technologically advanced natural gas system that will continue to meet the needs of customers now and in the future."

This filing seeks approval to change the distribution charge on a customer's natural gas bill, which makes up about 40 to 50 percent of the total bill and covers the cost of distributing natural gas. The filing does not apply to the cost of natural gas, which is the wholesale price the company pays for natural gas, and makes up about 50 to 60 percent of the bill. The wholesale price of natural gas changes monthly depending on market prices and is passed on directly to customers with no mark-up.

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