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Rate hike for CenterPoint approved

Rate hike for CenterPoint approved Click to Enlarge Photo:

May 9, 2014 at 5:26 am

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota regulators have approved a rate hike for CenterPoint Energy but not as much as the natural gas company sought.

The permanent rate increase for the Houston-based company's 823,000 Minnesota customers is less than the 4.9 percent interim increase authorized last October. As a result, most customers will see a small refund later this year.

Overall, CenterPoint had sought a 5 percent increase, but an administrative law judge recommended about 3.7 percent. The final increase likely will be around 4 percent.

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission also ordered a change in how CenterPoint's customers are billed.

On a 3-2 vote, the commission ordered a three-year billing experiment aimed at strengthening CenterPoint's energy conservation efforts and smoothing out swings in customers' bills. The program would not begin until July 2015.

Mike Tanner

Posted By Mike Tanner

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