• Increase in natural gas bills primarily driven by continued natural gas price surge
• Customers encouraged to prepare now for managing their energy bills
• Company encourages customers to utilize assistance programs, various payment options and energy-saving tips
Louisiana – Nov. 9, 2022 – CenterPoint Energy is encouraging customers to take action now to help manage natural gas bills for the upcoming heating season. The company’s Louisiana natural gas territory today announced customers will see an incremental increase in their natural gas bills when compared to those of last winter, assuming normal winter weather, due primarily to natural gas market conditions. Customers can take advantage of CenterPoint Energy’s array of payment assistance options as well as energy-saving tips to help mitigate the impact to bills.
“We recognize that our customers have concerns about their heating bills this winter, mainly due to the higher market prices of natural gas,” said Tony Gardner, Vice President, Louisiana and Mississippi Gas. “While the cost of natural gas makes up the largest portion of a customer’s monthly heating bill, the price we pay in the market for natural gas is the same price we charge our customers – with no markup.”
Heating with natural gas remains significantly more cost-effective than the alternatives of electricity, propane or heating oil. Bills will vary by customer depending on the size and age of the home, number of gas appliances, number in the household, thermostat settings and levels of insulation.
CenterPoint Energy also encourages customers to utilize the following resources should they need bill assistance or energy savings tips.
• Federal Utility Assistance Dollars: Those needing bill assistance should determine if they qualify for federal utility assistance dollars through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). In Louisiana, LIHEAP funds are administered through the Louisiana Housing Corporation’s Energy Assistance Department. Assistance is administered through subrecipients across the state. Visit https://www.lhc.la.gov/energy-assistance.
• Due Date Extension and Payment Arrangement: These are two free offerings which are available to customers in need of a special payment plan on a temporary basis in order to keep service connected and manage energy costs.
• Energy Efficiency Tips: CenterPoint Energy offers energy efficiency tips and energy-saving tools to help customers lower their natural gas bills. Visit www.centerpointenergy.com/en us/residential/save-energy-money/efficiency-tips-and-tools. • Average Monthly Bill: Under this billing plan, a customer’s estimated costs for a year of gas service are spread in equal monthly bill amounts for the year. This leveling of monthly bill amounts reduces the need to pay the full amount in the winter and spreads some of those higher bill charges into the non-heating months. Amounts are adjusted each summer for actual costs, and the customer’s credit or amount due rolls into the next Budget Bill payment for the next 12-month period. Customers can enroll for free on www.centerpointenergy.com or by calling 1-800- 227-1376.
“We recognize the financial hardships our customers may be facing this heating season, and we want to encourage them to contact us for options to assist in managing costs prior to their first high bill of the heating season,” said Gardner. “We are committed to helping our customers manage their bills to ease the impact of higher energy costs.”
About CenterPoint Energy
As the only investor-owned electric and gas utility based in Texas, CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (NYSE: CNP) is an energy delivery company with electric transmission and distribution, power generation and natural gas distribution operations that serve more than 7 million metered customers in Indiana, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Ohio and Texas. As of June 30, 2022, the company owned approximately $35 billion in assets. With approximately 8,900 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 150 years. For more information, visit CenterPointEnergy.com.