City Reaches Settlement with Energy Company

Lufkin has reached an agreement with Centerpoint Energy over its steadily increasing rates.

City leaders call the company's rate hikes excessive. Last year, Lufkin had a base rate increase of $60 per year. CenterPoint also had the increase approved by the Railroad Commission before having it approved by city leaders.

The company also failed to inform residents how they would be affected by the rate hike.

City Manager Paul Parker said, "They will actually reduce the rate by $9 a year, but the main thing is, they will pay all the legal fees and not pass it on to the customers. In the future, they will file with cities first, and they also promised through the agreement, not to raise base payments for the next three years."

As part of the settlement, CenterPoint will also have to repay 21 cities that opposed the rate hikes a total of $414,000. Lufkin's share will be about $38,000 based on its number of residential meters.