PSC Approves Natural Gas Rate Increase

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The Arkansas Public Service Commission has approved a settlement in a CenterPoint Energy Arkansas rate case that will increase monthly bills for residential customers by about $3.24.

CenterPoint's overall rates will increase about $20 million a year, or about 4.1 percent.

The natural gas company originally requested a $51 million rate increase, or about 11 percent.

CenterPoint vice president Walter Bryant has said the settlement will save ratepayers money because resources won't be spent in the courtroom litigating the case.

CenterPoint serves about five million customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas.  The company has more than 424,000 Arkansas customers.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)