CenterPoint Energy today filed for approval of a financing order to issue low-cost securitization bonds to fund the $2.301 billion true-up balance authorized by Public Utility Commission of Texas on Nov. 23. The PUC has 90 days from this filing date in which to issue a financing order. The company expects to issue the securitization bonds in the first half of 2005.
The financing order will include a number of adjustments in addition to the approved $2.301 billion true-up balance, including adjustments for certain taxes, costs of securitization bond issuance and interest and other approved charges that have accrued since the end of August, the reference date for the true-up balance.
"Funding as much of the company's true-up balance as possible through securitization bonds at low interest rates, currently less than five percent, will save customers hundreds of millions of dollars in interest charges, compared to more traditional utility rate-making. This securitization process is one of the principal consumer benefits of the 1999 Texas Electric Choice Act," said Scott Rozzell, executive vice president and general counsel for CenterPoint Energy. "We believe the Commission will act expeditiously on our filing in order to take advantage of these low interest rates."