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Decision On CenterPoint Billing Not Final

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By Holly Wagner, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — We all expect our utility bills to go up in the winter, but if you’re a CenterPoint Energy customer, it might be more than you expected this year. There’s no longer a flat rate for natural gas.

The company changed to a new way of billing, the more you use, the more you pay. The pilot program started 6 months ago.

Company officials say the purpose is to provide an incentive for customers to conserve energy and that would help bring rates down. The move has created some controversy.

On Thursday, the Public Utilities Commission held a meeting to discuss how to evaluate the new tiered rate system for Center Point Energy customers.

Representatives of the Office of Energy Security said this new system needs further evaluation and they want an independent consultant to come in and design a plan to help determine whether this program is effective. But Center Point Energy officials say they have ways to measure this program and if they hire a consultant, the cost would be passed down to their customers.

The meeting will continue Thursday afternoon. Commissioners have yet to make a decision.

WCCO-TV’s Holly Wagner Reports

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