View Case Record, GR-17-285
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As a customer, my question is why are we continuing to be subjected to these rate hikes to pay for the cost of Centerpoint Energy to do business? As a former business owner, I had to pay for the cost of doing business myself. I could have raised my prices to cover those expenses but, would have lost business in doing so. It seems like these energy companies are requesting rate increases every few years to cover their expenses of doing business. I believe the 6.4% increase being asked for by Centerpoint is in excess of what is actually needed and therefore not reasonable. We are living on a fixed income and our pension and Social Security income does not increase by 6.4%. I would request the Public Utilities Commission to deny the request for a rate increase.
I believe the 6.4% increase would cause undue stress and hardships on seniors living on a fixed income. I would request the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission deny the requested 6.4% rate increase requested.
Overall I think that Centerpoint Energy provides good customer service.
When natural gas became the newer and most economical source of fuel, and with the U.S. having supplies that would supposedly last hundreds of years, why is it that companies like Center Point Energy keep asking for rate increases every couple years? It reminds me of certain political parties that keep raising taxes, instead of cutting unnecessary cost, or of school systems, local government bodies etc that always have to propose an 8% increase in next years budget. I started and ran a successful business for 21 years and only raised prices when the vendors I purchased from raised my costs so much that I had no choice. Take an example from Purdue University. They have not raised their tuition for the last 6 years. The Social Security Administration is giving me a whopping 2% increase in benefit in 2018, because they say the cost of living went up that much in 2017. That was the first increase people on social security got in about 3 yeas as I recall. I definitely think you should
reject the request for a 6.4% increase. It's time for every utility and other entities as well as our federal givernment to hold the line. If we have to get along with less, then they should also.
The 6.4% increase stated by Centerpoint is misleading as it is the overall increase for all customers, not what the average homeowner or business owner will see. For the average residential customer and small business the rate increase is about 8.9%. Centerpoint's own literature states that the average bill will increase from $56 to $61 which is 8.9%. A large volume user will only see an increase of ~3%.
I do not think the rate structure proposed is equitable.
Cost should be going down not up. Internet is free. Paperless billing. Auto pay. Wind and solar energy. Their billing department and customer service department has been drastically reduced. Instead of bonuses to ceo'S and outlandish saleries give the little guy a break. Robbing the poor to make the rich richer.
The 6.4% increase Centerpoint is asking for is approximately twice the expected increase projected by the US Energy Information Administration. From their webiste, "EIA's forecast Henry Hub natural gas spot price from an annual average of $3.01/MMBtu in 2017 to $3.12/MMBtu in 2018". This would only be a 3.7% increase. The PUC should cut in half, the requested rate increase.
I moved here 3 years ago to St. Joseph, MN and the rate increase of 6.4% is way to high. The cost should go down not up. Think about the elderly that are on a fixed income and have to pay for this huge rate increase. Every year my bill has changed I try and budget for each season, you never know what the bill is going to be. I don't think there should be a rate increase at all exspecially 6.4%.
comment...the rate increase is not so bad but every one should pay the same per therm of gas this should be fair to all include business. the delivery charge should be based on how much gas you use not a fixes rate.the same with base charge. how about a charge for gas and the gas the same for all and the gas company pay the individual fees out of that. why do the utility companys all thy to make it so complicated. are they trying to hide something.
The rate increase seems unreasonable as its not an equal rate hike for all, it seem to favor certain users. Why not make flat-rate hike across the board? Also, the 56.6 MM does not seem to be in the best interest of CPE customers as it likely do little if anything to reduce operating cost and premiums. Please deny the rate hike.
The past 4 years, being retired on a significantly reduced income, our COLA has risen only 3.4%; therefore, if this proposed Minnegasco rate were the ONLY inflationary increase it would be tolerable; however, every other real inflation figure is taking my wife and I backward! For example, Mound's utility (water & sewer) bill in just the past 4 years has risen 48 (fortyeight!) %. The other utilities, such as electric, food, internet & TV have also outpaced any COLAs! We have less money in our emergency retirement fund now than we had 3 years ago. If not for the crooks at Wall Street we would have paid of our mortgage & sold the house, however, our value fell below its payoff during that period. Our government, IMO, has sold out to the lobbyists and billionaires. Please reduce any rate hike!
comment...Be thankful you have been able to retire. Be thankful you can afford the cost of internet and cable TV. Be thankful you have an emergency retirement fund at all. There are many of us who have to squeak by without any of these things. If you are one of the fortunate ones who don't have to work until the day you die with no hope to ever stop working, you have been fortunate in your life's circumstances. I agree completely with your comments, just want to give you some perspective. We are all in this together!
Why, as customers, are we continuing to be subjected to rate hikes to pay for the cost of Centerpoint Energy to do business? Centerpoint requested a similar rate increase last year. The 6.4% increase being asked for by Centerpoint is in excess of what is actually needed and therefore not reasonable. I would request the Public Utilities Commission to deny the request for a rate increase.
The rate increase seems unreasonable because it will dis-proportionally affect residential customers. It is misleading to state it is a 6.4% increase when it is actually 8.9% $56 to $61. Where as heavy users would be seeing only around a 3% increase. The average person does not receive a 8.9% increase in pay per year. I would be against this increase.
comment...As a single older age homeowner on limited income, this rate increase would cause undue hardship to me. It just seems as though every bill I get has seen increase after increase, while my income has not gone up enough to even keep pace with inflation in the past 10 years. Having already pared living expenses to eliminate EVERY item that is discretionary in any way, there is nothing left to cut. With the ever increasing costs to just survive my fear is that I will end up losing my home that I have owned for 28 years. I think we need a rate decrease! If we as consumers have to "tighten our belts" to the point of suffocation, I believe Center Point Energy can find some ways to save and give us a break!!
Let me see.... I just got a 2% raise in my Social Security and Military Retirement checks and Center Point Energy wants a 6.4% increase. Doesn't compute to me. CPE wants 3 times more than my recent checks increase. I strongly encourage the Commission to vote NO NO NO on this increase request. Enough said!!
First, the rate increase is a significant problem for those with fixed and/or low income. Although the amount cited is relatively small, it must be considered that there are increases across the board (anywhere from 20% to 100%) this year in most cost-of-living items. CenterPoint Energy is pushing more and more cases into being supported by public funds to keep their homes heated in the winter - - this does not help our community. Second, the proposed increase is especially frustrating because CenterPoint does little, or nothing locally, as far as I can tell, to promote conservation and transition away from fossil fuels. At the least, why not have the per unit rate tied to usage - - per unit rate should be higher for those who use a lot such as "big box" corporations. Third, CenterPoint Energy is already getting a free ride for more than 6 months a year - - the charges to "maintain one's account" when no gas is being used typically amount to more than $100 per year per account. Do FedEx or other companies charge to "maintain an account" when nothing is being purchased? These charges continue even if the customer pays up to a year in advance - - why does CenterPoint need "insurance" to "maintain an account" if it is paid in advance? This is clearly bogus and a scam to make even more free money from the customers.