CenterPoint Energy (NYSE: CNP) today filed an application with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) requesting an adjustment to distribution charges for the company’s natural gas business in Minnesota.

 

The proposed rate adjustment would support major investments in the continued safety and reliability of the approximately 14,000-mile pipeline system that serves more than 860,000 CenterPoint Energy customers in Minnesota.

 

Specifically, if the rate adjustment is approved, it would help cover the rising costs of infrastructure projects to replace or upgrade pipelines to prevent leaks and comply with more stringent federal pipeline regulations. It would also help cover costs related to a growing number of local road construction and other public works projects that require CenterPoint Energy to relocate pipelines and equipment. Current rates do not provide adequate revenue to cover these increased costs.

 

 

With the proposed adjustment, the average residential customer bill would increase by about $4.80 per month. Currently, the average residential customer pays about $55 per month for natural gas service, with most of these costs incurred during the winter heating season.

 

Even with the proposed adjustment, monthly bills for the average CenterPoint Energy residential customer in Minnesota would still be nearly 35 percent lower than a decade ago, due to a decline in natural gas prices partially offset by increases in delivery rates.