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CenterPoint Gas Customers to See Bills Go Down

2 min read

Citing reduced operational costs and falling natural gas prices, CenterPoint Energy has proposed a 5% rate decrease for the 400,000 homes and businesses it serves in Arkansas, which will save an aggregate $8.1 million a year.

The cut would be reflected in bills calculated in October, and gas users will also see smaller bills reflecting lower gas prices after the utility’s semiannual adjustment to its Gas Supply Rate, which went down April 1.

“We have succeeded in reducing our operational expenses and, as a result of current commodity pricing, customers will also benefit from the lower price we pay for the natural gas we deliver to our customers,” said Cindy Westcott, vice president, Arkansas and Oklahoma Region, for CenterPoint, which is based in Houston, Texas.

“We are committed to passing these savings along to our customers, which is all the more critical at this time when so many families and businesses are experiencing financial challenges due to the coronavirus emergency,” she added in a company statement.

CenterPoint Energy proposed the 5% rate cut in its annual rate plan filed April 6 with its regulator, the Arkansas Public Service Commission, whose approval is needed. 

A typical residential customer would see the rate plan portion of the monthly bill fall by about $1.30, or about 2.6% of their total gas bill.

As of April 1, CenterPoint Energy customers in Arkansas also began to benefit from lower natural gas prices, which will show up in the Gas Supply Rate (GSR) portion of their monthly natural gas bills. The new GSR declined by 16.7%, mainly driven by lower market prices for natural gas. The impact on a customer’s total bill will depend on actual gas usage each month.

The GSR is adjusted every six months, and CenterPoint works with natural gas suppliers to buy natural gas throughout the year on a competitive basis to ensure reliable supplies.

In the coronavirus emergency, CenterPoint Energy is also working with customers who may need payment assistance, arrangements or extensions. In addition, the company has temporarily suspended natural gas disconnections for nonpayment. Customers can discuss payment options by calling 1 (800) 992-7552.

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