Thursday, June 2, 2011

How much is to much for natural gas?

Have you looked at how Centerpoint Energy now charges you for your natural gas? Centerpoint has put in place a new rate structure that charges you more money per therm of gas the more you use. Centerpoint says this is to promote high gas users to find more efficient heating options and conserve gas. What I find strange is usually the more of something you buy the cost goes down. When you buy bulk at Costco you get a discount because the cost per transaction goes down when volume goes up. With the new plan a tier 3-5 customer will pay 25-48% above the cost of gas. Minnesota Attorney General is now investigating this program as they have found 42% of Centerpoint customers in MN top 10 highest poverty communities are paying the max tier 5 rates. These are the people that have old homes and heating systems that they can’t afford to improve the efficiency. So is it fair to charge them an inflated high price because of this? Especially knowing if one customer uses a lot of a product looking at a business side they should be paying the lowest rate. Comfort Matters is a huge supporter of helping our customers save money on energy use and we want people to come to us for answers. But why could a company just raise their rates like Centerpoint when a homeowner has no other option but buy gas from them? You can read the Fox News article about the Attorney General request to suspend the current rate structure here:


  1. Double edged sword. The Government has mandates for energy providers to reduce consumption so providers try to penalize users with higher costs for using more. Now users feel like its out of their control to reduce consumption so the government finds out their intervention has negative effects.

  2. Yes you are correct, the government mandate to lower energy use did start this battle so the homeowner gets to pay for it.