How will CenterPoint TDU rate changes impact your electricity bill?
In a recent settlement agreement, CenterPoint TDU agreed to smaller rate hikes than it originally intended to levy. What does that mean for you? If you’re a typical residential electricity customer, your electricity bill will go up about a dollar or two. You may not even notice the change, but because CenterPoint serves about 2.4 million Houston area customers, their attempt to increase prices drew the ire of some key people.
New TDU rates in CenterPoint Houston
CenterPoint argues that Houston’s population continues growing. Consequently, it needs to build more transmission lines and ensure their reliability and resiliency. In order to ensure that, the utility wants to increase rates. However, CenterPoint and its electricity delivery rates have prompted a legal tussle over the proposed new changes. As a result they have been facing off against a group of large power users, retail electricity providers, and a coalition of cities working to block the utility’s rate increases.
Based on the likely resolution of the case, CenterPoint may have been better off leaving rates alone. That’s because before the lawsuit, CenterPoint asked regulators to increase their rate of return from 10.0 percent to 10.4 percent. However, in the current settlement agreement, CenterPoint has lowered their rate to 9.4 percent.
That agreement is now before the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) awaiting final approval.
CenterPoint TDU Charge Rates
In Texas, TDU charges cover maintenance of electricity infrastructure like poles, transmission lines, and meters. Retail electricity providers pass the charges through to customers and forward the money to the TDU. As a result, TDU charges appear separately on a customer’s monthly bill.
The following are CenterPoint’s agreed-to TDU charges for residential customers:
|TDU charge type||Current Rate||Change||Settlement Agreement Rate||Billing Unit|
What’s the bottom line for CenterPoint TDU customers?
TDU charges have nothing to do with electricity rates charged by Houston retail electricity providers. However, CenterPoint’s proposed rate hike before the lawsuit would have cost a customer using 1,000 kWh in a billing cycle an additional $2.38 per month. If the PUC approves the settlement agreement, that increase will be smaller. Though chances are good that this monthly cost won’t make or break your budget, slowly rising expenses are better than skyrocketing ones.
Switching electricity providers in CenterPoint Houston
Compared to other TDUs in Texas, CenterPoint charges some of the lowest rates. No matter who you choose for your retail electricity provider, your home is served by one TDU. While TDU distribution rates don’t change that often, retail electricity prices rise and fall seasonally. That’s why you should still shop for the best electricity rates available. Peruse the information on http://www.texaselectricityratings.com. We’re heading into a season where electricity rates drop, so you should consider locking in a fixed rate electricity plan today.