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CenterPoint Energy seeks rate changes

MINNEAPOLIS -- CenterPoint Energy Friday filed an application with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to change the company's natural gas distribution rates. The proposed change affects two components of the residential bill.

First, CenterPoint Energy is proposing to increase the monthly basic charge for residential customers from $8 to $15 a month and second, to decrease the delivery charge from the current $0.17127 per therm (which includes the $0.00490 per therm for the gas affordability service program) to $0.12943 per therm.

If approved, the net impact of the new rates will increase the average residential customer's bill by about $4 per month.

The filing seeks approval to change the distribution charge on a customer's natural gas bill, which makes up about 40 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 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.