HOUSTON, July 31, 2009 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ -- CenterPoint Energy, Inc.'s (NYSE: CNP) electric transmission and distribution subsidiary, CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric, LLC (CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric), announced that it has reached a settlement agreement with the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) staff and the City of Houston in its proceeding before the PUC to recover the costs the company incurred to restore service following Hurricane Ike, which struck the Houston area in 2008. All other parties to the proceeding have indicated that they will not oppose the settlement.
Under the settlement agreement, which is subject to approval by the PUC, CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric would recover approximately $663 million in storm recovery costs. In April, the company had filed an application pursuant to legislation adopted in Texas in 2009 in which CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric sought to recover approximately $678 million of such costs. The PUC is expected to consider the settlement agreement in August.
In July, CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric filed an application with the PUC for a financing order that would permit the company to issue low-cost securitization bonds to recover the distribution-related portion of the restoration costs. Of the $663 million agreed to in the settlement agreement, approximately $643 million is related to distribution. The exact size of the storm cost recovery bond offering will be determined by the PUC in a proceeding currently scheduled for hearing in September 2009. CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric hopes to complete the regulatory process and issue those bonds this fall.
CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric plans to seek recovery of the approximately $20 million of the storm restoration costs that are related to transmission service through the transmission cost of service process.
CenterPoint Energy, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission & 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 nearly $19 billion. With about 8,800 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.
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, 2008 and in their Form 10-Qs for the period ended March 31, 2009 and in other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
For more information contact: Media: Leticia Lowe Phone 713.207.7702 Investors: Marianne Paulsen Phone 713.207.6500
SOURCE CenterPoint Energy, Inc.
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