HOUSTON, Sep 25, 2007 (PrimeNewswire via COMTEX News Network) -- CenterPoint Energy and the Staff of the Arkansas Public Service Commission (APSC) today filed with the APSC a Stipulation and Agreement (the settlement) in the company's pending rate case. If approved by the APSC, the settlement will resolve all issues in that proceeding.
The settlement will increase the company's natural gas distribution base rate revenues for Arkansas customers by approximately $20 million per year. Additionally, if approved, the settlement will implement a decoupling mechanism to help stabilize revenues by separating or "decoupling" company revenues from the volume of gas sold.
"This settlement is the result of collaborative work with the APSC staff to find common ground rather than litigating an extended rate case, which can be costly in dollars and resources that can otherwise be devoted to working on positive solutions for our customers," said Walter Bryant, CenterPoint Energy's vice president of gas operations in Arkansas.
"We believe this settlement benefits all parties involved," added Bryant. "The decoupling mechanism allows us the opportunity to earn a fair return while better aligning our interests with the interests of our customers and the APSC in conservation and energy efficiency."
Pending approval, the new rates will go into effect for bills rendered on or after November 1. The effect on a residential customer bill using 50 Ccf (hundred cubic feet) of natural gas is $3.24 per month, less than a 5 percent increase.
CenterPoint Energy, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission and distribution, natural gas distribution, competitive natural gas sales and services, interstate pipelines and field services operations. The company serves more than five million metered customers primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas. Assets total over $17 billion. With about 8,600 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 130 years. For more information, visit the Web site at www.CenterPointEnergy.com.
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This news release includes forward-looking statements. Actual events and results may differ materially from those projected. The statements in this news release regarding future financial performance and results of operations and other statements that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements. Factors that could affect actual results include the timing and outcome of appeals from the true-up proceedings, the timing and impact of future regulatory, legislative and IRS decisions, effects of competition, weather variations, changes in CenterPoint Energy's or its subsidiaries' business plans, financial market conditions, the timing and extent of changes in commodity prices, particularly natural gas, the impact of unplanned facility outages, and other factors discussed in CenterPoint Energy's and its subsidiaries' Form 10-Ks for the period ended December 31, 2006, CenterPoint Energy's and its subsidiaries' Form 10-Qs for the periods ended March 31, 2007, and June 30, 2007, and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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SOURCE: CenterPoint Energy, Inc.
CenterPoint Energy, Inc. Media: Alicia Dixon 713-207-5885 Investors: Marianne Paulsen 713-207-6500
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