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CenterPoint Energy, inc (CNP) Q3 2021 Earnings Call Transcript

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CNP earnings call for the period ending September 30, 2021.

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CenterPoint Energy, inc (CNP 0.95%)
Q3 2021 Earnings Call
Nov 4, 2021, 8:00 a.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:

Operator

Good morning, and welcome to CenterPoint Energy's Third Quarter 2021 Earnings Conference Call with Senior Management. [Operator Instructions] I will now turn the call over to Philip Holder, Senior Vice President of Strategic Planning and Investor Relations.

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Philip Holder -- Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning & Investor Relations

Good morning, everyone. Welcome to CenterPoint's earnings conference call. David Lesar, our CEO; Jason Wells, our CFO, will discuss the company's third quarter 2021 results. Management will discuss certain topics that will contain projections and other forward-looking information and statements that are based on management's beliefs, assumptions and information currently available to management. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks or uncertainties.

Actual results could differ materially based upon various factors as noted in our Form 10-Q on their SEC filings and our earnings materials. We undertake no obligation to revise or update publicly any forward-looking statement. We will also discuss non-GAAP EPS, referred to as utility EPS, earnings guidance and our utility earnings growth target. In providing these financial performance metrics and guidance, we use a non-GAAP measure of adjusted diluted earnings per share.

For information on our guidance methodology and a reconciliation of non-GAAP measures used in providing guidance, please refer to our earnings news release and presentation, both of which can be found under the Investors section on our website. As a reminder, we may use our website to announce material information. This call is being recorded. Information on how to access the replay can be found on our website.

Now I'd like to turn the discussion over to Dave.

David J. Lesar -- President & Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Philip. Good morning, and thank you to everyone joining us for our third quarter 2021 earnings call. Because we recently hosted our Analyst Day, we will keep our prepared remarks brief today. As you know, we laid out our first ever 10-year plan back at our Analyst Day. We expressed that and are reiterating today that we are a management team who can execute. We believe we will continue to demonstrate that for you. This marks my sixth quarter with CenterPoint and Jason's fifth. I'd like to first start by laying out how we are building a consistent track record of delivery.

First, if you recall, the CenterPoint value proposition we laid out at our recent Analyst Day focused on our efforts to achieve sustainable earnings growth for our shareholders, sustainable, resilient and affordable rates for our customers and a sustainable positive impact on the environment for our communities. I believe we are continuing down the path of achieving this value proposition. Each quarter under the new CenterPoint leadership, we have met or exceeded quarterly utility EPS and dividend expectations. We have increased our annual utility EPS guidance for both 2020 and 2021.

And as I will discuss shortly, today, we are increasing our 2021 utility EPS guidance once again. Our 2021 through 2024 annual utility EPS growth rates of 8% are top decile among our peers, and we also expect to achieve at the mid- to high end of our 6% to 8% utility EPS guidance range each year from 2025 to 2030. I am confident in our team's ability to achieve that growth. Last year, we had a $13 billion 5-year capital plan. We increased that to $16 billion in our 2020 Analyst Day. In this year, we increased it yet again to $18 billion plus.

We introduced our first ever 10-year capital plan. CenterPoint remains ripe with opportunities across our footprint to expand and harden our system to benefit customers and shareholders. Our current 10-year plan contains no external equity issuances. We will fund the equity portion of our capital needs to internally generated operating cash flows and our already announced strategic transactions. We are also executing on our plan to become a pure-play regulated utility as we approach the closing of the Enable ET merger expected by the end of this year and then our subsequent sell-down of our midstream stake.

With the recent settlement agreement among the parties in Arkansas, we are also moving toward the completion of our LDC asset sale. The remaining steps include the Oklahoma approval, which is anticipated to be received in November and the all-party settlement in Arkansas is expected to be approved by mid-December. And with our newest announcement around our industry-leading ESG targets, we are on the path to executing our goals to be net 0 on direct emissions by 2035.

We continue to believe that this is an achievable path delivering for customers, regulators, investors and the environment. In the third quarter of 2020, I said that I will not be satisfied until we are recognized as a premium utility. In the theme of our Analyst Day was again establishing a path toward a premium. I believe we are making tremendous strides down that path. Before I get into the headlines for this quarter, I want to thank all of the crews for their hard work to restore power after hurricane Nicholas down here in the Texas Gulf Coast.

The storm headwinds of up to 90 miles an hour, leaving 470,000 of our Houston Electric customers without power. Within three days, we had 95% of the power restored for those customers. And within five days, the whole system was back online. Now for this quarter's headlines. Our year-to-date financial progress has been strong. We are reporting a utility EPS beat and are raising our full year outlook this quarter. For the third time this year, we are increasing our 2021 utility EPS guidance this time to $1.26 to $1.28 for the full year. And for the first nine months, we've already achieved nearly 80% of that full year goal.

More importantly, we are still targeting an 8% annual growth rate for 2022 to 2024. So this raises our guidance for 2022 utility EPS to $1.36 to $1.38. For the third quarter of 2021, we reported $0.25 of utility EPS, which compares to $0.29 in the third quarter of 2020. In the third quarter of this year, we had a onetime impact to earnings of $0.04 per share related to our most recent Board implemented governance changes. Jason will get into more detail on the variances shortly. Capital investments. As I mentioned earlier, we have increased our five-year capital plans to $18 billion plus over the next five years and $40 billion plus over the next 10 years.

This is nearly a 40% increase in our five-year capital investment plan since the third quarter of 2020. This includes new opportunities that stem from the latest legislative session in Texas. One of those opportunities was the ability to lease and put into rate base mobile generation units. We move quickly on this opportunity and procured [Indecipherable] five-megawatt and 30-megawatt mobile generation units, some of which we were able to deploy during Hurricane Nicholas as backup while crews worked to repair our system.

And recently, during an ERCOT forecasted Texas wide load-shedding event, the Texas PUC [Indecipherable] to make sure our units were ready to support customers. We were the first the utility in the state to act on this legislative opportunity and had them in place to utilize them in the way the law intended. We look forward to mobilize quickly on the other tools provided to us by the Texas legislature to improve the resiliency of the electric grid and help reduce the risk of prolonged outages.

We already have an outstanding RFP for additional mobile generation, which could bring our total up to 500 megawatts and hope to have this procured in the coming months. We believe that with the deployment of these additional tools, we will be able to mitigate some of the impacts of future extreme weather events on our customers. Due to recent weather events in both Louisiana and Texas, we are running slightly behind on our capital spending plans on a year-to-date basis. These weather events pulled away many of our contract crews, so they could provide mutual assistance to our fellow utilities, especially in Louisiana.

Therefore, while deployed elsewhere, they cannot work on our capital projects, but we have a catch-up plan in place and anticipate making the short fall of. In anticipation of continued labor shortages and as we ramp up our capital plans in the coming years, we have now moved to procure additional contractor resources from multiple suppliers. We believe that this will help to support continuity and crews on a long-term basis and reduce the impact of any labor disruptions in executing our $40 billion-plus capital spend over the next 10 years. O&M. Turning to O&M. We remain committed to our continuous improvement cost management efforts and our target of 1% to 2% average annual reductions.

We've already realized the benefit of some of these improvements this year. We stated in the second quarter that we could accelerate approximately $20 million of recurring O&M work forward from 2022 into this year if we had the available resources. So far, we've achieved approximately 20% of this goal year-to-date and remain confident around our team's ability to continue to execute toward this goal for the balance of the year. This allows us the luxury of reducing near-term run rate O&M costs which helps to mitigate rate pressures while maintaining continued focus on reliability and safety of our service for customers, all while sustaining growth for our shareholders.

Organic growth. In addition to O&M continuous improvement efforts, we are fortunate to operate in growing jurisdictions. This combination plays a key role in keeping our growth plans affordable for our customers. As we discussed during our Analyst Day, Houston is the fourth largest city in the U.S. and the only one of those four that's growing. Houston's organic growth has been multi-decades long. That organic growth rate continued for yet another quarter.

We are also seeing strong growth in many of our other jurisdictions as well. On a year-over-year basis, we saw about 2% customer growth for electric and 1% for natural gas through September. Again, this organic growth is the luxury, most other utilities just do not have. Now let me shift gears and give a brief regulatory update. A recent highlight in Indiana happened just this past week. As part of our long-term electric generation transition plan, we received the CPCN approval from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission for the first tranche of solar generation, 75% of which we expect to own and 25% due a PPA.

This approval shows the commission's alignment and support of our 2020 IRP, which bridges our coal generation into a mix of lower carbon and renewable sources. We anticipate the CPCN decisions for our Gas CT plant in the second or third quarter of 2022 and the incremental solar PPA in the third quarter of 2022. As outlined in our IRP, we are targeting to own approximately 50% of our total solar generation portfolio. Our continued build-out of renewables is a key driver in achieving our net zero direct emissions goal by 2035.

Shifting to gas cost recovery from the February winter storm. We continue to make progress. And as we previously mentioned, we have mechanisms in place or have begun recovery in all jurisdictions. We are happy to report that just this past week, we reached a settlement on the prudence proceedings supporting securitization of 100% of gas costs in Texas, including all of related carrying costs. We look forward to the commission approval of the agreement. We anticipate a financing order for the securitization bonds by the end of the year. With this time line, we anticipate receiving the proceeds sometime mid next year.

In Minnesota, we started a recovery as of December and are working with stakeholders on ways to reduce the impact on our customers. We filed a rate case earlier this week, and also proposed an alternative rate stabilization plan to address the unique set of circumstances customers are experiencing. The full rate case requests $67.1 million per year, while the rate stabilization plan requests $39.7 million per year and an extended recovery period for winter storm costs. The proposed rate stabilization plan would resolve the rate case and limit the bill impact on customers, in part by recovering the winter storm costs over a 63-month period.

We're asking the PUC to review and approve the stabilization plan by the end of this year, which would allow rates to take effect on January 1. To summarize, we are working with stakeholders to align our focus on safety and related investments while minimizing the burden to our customers. Largely as a result of mechanisms in our Houston Electric in Indiana South gas jurisdictions, we have recently received approval for $40 million of increased incremental annual revenue. As discussed in our Analyst Day, we anticipate approximately 80% of our 10-year capital plans to be recovered through interim mechanisms, which demonstrates the constructive jurisdictions in which we operate.

In Texas, our PUC is now appointed a fourth commissioner. Jason and I have now had the opportunity to meet all four commissioners and are very encouraged by the dialogue and expertise that all of these commissioners bring to the PUC. We look forward to continued engagement with the commissions in all of our jurisdictions. So those are the headlines for the quarter. I remain excited about what's to come for CenterPoint. We have a growing track of execution and believe it more than demonstrates what we can do in the near future and the unique value proposition that CenterPoint offers to you.

With that, let me turn the call over to Jason.

Jason P. Wells -- Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning & Investor Relations

Thank you, Dave, and thank you to all of you for joining us this morning for our third quarter earnings call. This marks my one year of earnings calls with CenterPoint and the story keeps getting better. To reemphasize Dave's message, we are focused on establishing a track record of consistent execution, and I fully believe the best is yet to come here at CenterPoint. I'll start this morning with the earnings for the third quarter of 2021. On a GAAP EPS basis, we reported $0.32 for the third quarter of 2021 compared to $0.13 for the third quarter of 2020.

Looking at slide five, we reported $0.33 of non-GAAP EPS for the third quarter of 2021 compared to $0.34 for the third quarter of 2020. Our utility EPS was $0.25 for the third quarter of 2021, while midstream investments contributed another $0.08. Favorable growth in rate recovery, lower interest expense and reversal of the net impacts from COVID last year, each contributed $0.01 of favorability. These amounts were offset by $0.04 related to our onetime

Board implemented governance changes recorded this quarter and another $0.03 of unfavorable variance attributable to weather and usage. For context, we experienced 73 fewer cooling degree day in Houston for the third quarter of 2021 compared to the third quarter of 2020. We estimate that each cooling degree day above normal has approximately a $70,000 a day impact in our Houston Electric business. Turning to slide six.

For the first nine months, we've achieved nearly 80% of our full year 2021 utility EPS guidance, which we are now raising to $1.26 to $1.28. And as Dave said, we are also raising our utility EPS guidance for 2022 to $1.36 to $1.38, which is an 8% increase from our new 2021 estimates. Looking beyond that, we are focused on delivering 8% annual utility EPS growth through 2024 and at the mid- to high end of our 6% to 8% annual utility EPS range over the remainder of our 10-year plan, strong growth each year and every year, no CAGRs for earnings.

The last thing I'll mention for this quarter is the share count. Our preferred Series B shares converted into 36 million common shares as of September 1, further reducing the number of share classes outstanding. We expect the conversion will have no impact on earnings as the increase in shares is effectively offset by the termination of our Series B dividends. Going forward, I want to reiterate we have no external equity included in our current [Indecipherable] and only expect our share count to modestly increase from dividend reinvestment or incentive plans.

Now I want to offer some color on the capital plans supporting our rate base and utility EPS growth. We've spent approximately $2.3 billion year-to-date on capital investments. As Dave mentioned, we had some slight delays due to recent weather events and are focused on making that up over the coming months. We outlined on our Analyst Day the three buckets that we are investing in, safety, reliability and growth and enabling clean investments that are included in our $40 billion plus 10-year capital investment plan.

This investment profile should benefit our shareholders, our customers and the environment. We see those opportunities weighted nearly 60% toward investments in our electric business throughout the plan. While we are slightly behind the capital plan on a year-to-date basis, we are in the midst of ramping up to a sustained increase in our capital investments and we are restructuring contract crews in a way that helps support our labor needs to execute this level of investment. We are confident we will make up the shortfall by early 2022. Moving to the financing updates. Our current liquidity remains strong at $1.8 billion, including available borrowings under our short-term credit facilities and unrestricted cash.

Our long-term FFO to debt objective remains between 14% and 15%, aligning with Moody's methodology and is consistent with the expectations of the rating agencies. As mentioned during the Analyst Day, it's our intention to stay within this range throughout the course of our long-term plan. Lastly, as we near the end of the calendar year, we are getting incrementally closer to the expected closing of the strategic transactions we've announced.

We recently filed a settlement in Arkansas that represents an agreement among all parties. We anticipate that Arkansas Commission will issue its final approval by mid-December. In Oklahoma, a hearing was held on November 3, and we expect a final order soon. Finally, as Energy Transfer expressed on their earnings call earlier this week, the Enable and Energy Transfer merger is also expected to close before year-end. Once that transaction closes, we will remain absolutely focused on reducing and then eliminating our exposure to midstream through a disciplined approach. As said on our

Analyst Day, we anticipate being fully exited from the midstream sector by the end of 2022. We will then be nearly a pure-play regulated utility. As we continue to express, we take our commitment to be good stewards of your investment very seriously and realize our obligation to optimize stakeholder value. And with that, we look forward to more of these shorter earnings calls in the future.

I'll turn the call back over to Dave.

David J. Lesar -- President & Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Jason. As you heard from us today, and others from our full management team during the Analyst Day, the outlook for CenterPoint just keeps getting better. As I said, we now have six quarters of meeting or exceeding expectations, but we believe there is much more to come. We are demonstrating the pathway to premium, and we hope that you will be on board with us as a shareholder when that happens.

Philip Holder -- Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning & Investor Relations

Thank you, Dave. We will now take a few questions being mindful of today's earnings schedule and the upcoming EEI conference.

Questions and Answers:

Operator

[Operator Instructions]Our first question is from Anthony Crowdell with Mizuho. Please proceed with your question.

Anthony Crowdell -- Mizuho -- Analyst

Hey. Good morning, Dave. Good morning, Jason.

David J. Lesar -- President & Chief Executive Officer

Good morning.

Anthony Crowdell -- Mizuho -- Analyst

Hopefully, I contribute to the short earnings call, but just I think of the company maybe over the last year, it was maybe more of a transition story and we got, I guess, three increases in guidance throughout the year, including today. I mean, how do we think about going forward? Are we more now on steady state and the guidance you gave is probably more set and we look to be in the middle of it? Or do we continue to get maybe increases in guidance? And I have one follow-up.

David J. Lesar -- President & Chief Executive Officer

Yes. Well, look, I hope you got a sense today of how confident we are in the business -- the direction that the business is going at this point in time. And I think that we're starting to hit on all cylinders. So I agree, we were in a transition, but I think in a transition to what we believe ought to be a premium utility.

So I think if you listen to what we said today, and let me boil it down into pretty simple terms, whatever we do this year, we'll do 8% more than next year, whatever we do next year, we'll do 8% more of the year after that and etc., as we outlined during our Analyst Day. But we've got a lot of tailwinds behind us right now, and we really, really like where we are.

Anthony Crowdell -- Mizuho -- Analyst

Great. And just one follow-up. Dave, at the Analyst Day, you gave us some great insight into, I guess, just commodity prices maybe from a previous job you held. Just thoughts on, are you seeing any type of change in your view that you think maybe the commodity prices will end up coming down?

David J. Lesar -- President & Chief Executive Officer

No. I think -- I assume you're referring to natural gas prices.

Anthony Crowdell -- Mizuho -- Analyst

Yes.

David J. Lesar -- President & Chief Executive Officer

And I think that if you look at the strip, it is starting to drift down. But I think more importantly, it's really -- the focus -- if you look at gas prices on our business, specifically, we've got organic growth to sort of absorb issues. We've got our ability on O&M. So if your question really is do we see an impact on sort of customer rates. Certainly, it's going to be out there, but I think we've got some offsets that maybe other utilities don't have. Jason, if anything you want to add to that?

Jason P. Wells -- Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning & Investor Relations

Sure, Dave. Thanks for the question, Anthony. As we outlined at Analyst Day, we continue to work within our defined gas procurement plans for each jurisdiction. And as of today, looking across all of our jurisdictions, we're roughly 60% hedged now that we're going into the upcoming winter season. And for almost all of those jurisdictions, we locked in kind of a weighted average cost of gas, so somewhere between sort of the mid-$3s and high $3, $3 per MMBtu in the majority of our jurisdictions. And so feel well positioned for this upcoming winter season.

Obviously, we continue to look at what we can do across the business to ease the burden on our customers. And I think one example of that was the creative -- alternative rate stabilization plan that we just recently filed in Minnesota. So we'll continue to look for ways to minimize the bill impact, but feel like we're well prepared coming into this upcoming winter season.

Anthony Crowdell -- Mizuho -- Analyst

Great. Thank you for taking my questions. I'll see you guys EEI. And Dave, sorry about the [Indecipherable].

David J. Lesar -- President & Chief Executive Officer

Yes. Well, better luck next year, right?

Operator

Our next question is from Shahriar Pourreza with Guggenheim Partners. Please proceed with your question.

Shahriar Pourreza -- Guggenheim Partners -- Analyst

Good morning, guys.

Jason P. Wells -- Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning & Investor Relations

Good morning.

David J. Lesar -- President & Chief Executive Officer

Good morning.

Shahriar Pourreza -- Guggenheim Partners -- Analyst

Just on -- with the current Capex plan, you're obviously more levered to electric side of the business and the IRP in Indiana presents some additional upside beyond the five years for electric investment. Dave, do you have sort of a target mix for electric versus gas contribution? What's the time line to achieve it, especially as we're thinking about potentially further gas optimization funding, which seems to be a very sizable electric decarbonization plan?

David J. Lesar -- President & Chief Executive Officer

Yes. I think that if you sort of step back and take a look at 50,000 -- the sort of 50,000 foot level, the spend and direction and strategy of the company is to bias us toward the electric side of our business. Part of it is the coal transition certainly helps that because of the capital that it is going to absorb. And as we've said at our Analyst Day and we've said it in some of our prior calls, we don't need equity to execute this 10-year plan. But if other opportunities did come up, we know the inherent value of the remaining gas LDCs. And you could look to them as a source of liquidity. But I think bottom line is we're biased toward electric, and that is the way we will continue to drift. I'm not going to put a prediction out there as to what that ratio will be over time. But directionally, that's where we're headed.

Shahriar Pourreza -- Guggenheim Partners -- Analyst

Got it. And then just lastly, obviously, a little bit behind on the Capex that you highlighted in the prepared remarks, but still kind of targeting that $18 billion plus. Just, I guess, what are some of the governing factors to increasing the upside or bringing that $1 billion into the base plan that we discussed during the Analyst Day?

David J. Lesar -- President & Chief Executive Officer

Well, I think it's a couple of things. One is just getting sort of final resolution and clarity around the new tools in the toolbox with respect to the Texas legislative process. We highlighted today, the temporary generation. For instance, we've moved very, very quickly on. Those kinds of things would absorb some of that additional $1 billion in sort of contingent capital that we laid out on our Analyst Day. And the other -- just the other issue is going to be just finding sufficient crews and labor and parts and inventory and those kinds of things out there to accelerate it.

So I think the message we tried to leave at Analyst Day is we have $18 billion plus to spend in the next five years, $40 billion plus to spend in the next 10 years. And we will spend that capital as fast as we can reasonably do so as long as it's consistent with sort of rate pressures that we will have and to spend it efficiently. So again, we've got the wind at our back on many, many things, and our capital spend opportunities is certainly one of those.

Shahriar Pourreza -- Guggenheim Partners -- Analyst

Great. Thanks. Thank you for that. See you guys and appreciate it.

Operator

Our next question is from Insoo Kim from Goldman Sachs. Please proceed with your question.

David J. Lesar -- President & Chief Executive Officer

Good morning, Inso.

Insoo Kim -- Goldman Sach -- Analyst

Good morning, David. Just first question going back to Shahriar's question on the Capex and the potential -- or I guess the delay currently. I understand the reasoning for the year-to-date delay and how you're going to make that up. Just when you look out currently at the current environment, structurally, are you seeing any concerns or challenges to get the current Capex plan executed over the next couple of years, whether it is the labor shortages or just from a -- maybe from a cost standpoint, labor costs or other items that could potentially be a headwind?

David J. Lesar -- President & Chief Executive Officer

And look, I mean, just like pretty much every other company and management team in the U.S., we're dealing with supply chain issues, upward pressure on labor costs. But I don't think that we have seen it to such an extent that we're going to say that we can't meet the capital plan. We have every intention, and we have every confidence we're going to meet the capital plan. We tried to give a little color with respect to that on the call today.

We have moved aggressively to tie up more construction crews. We have expanded our vendor base in and around that area. One of the tools that we got in the new legislative process is the ability to put long lead time items into inventory and into rate base. So we're looking at all of those. I think the sort of small slip in capital spend this year really was unrelated to any of that. It really was related to the storms that really pounded into Louisiana.

And as all utilities do, we help each other when those sort of situations arise. And we released a number of our crews that were focused on capital build for us to help the people in Louisiana get back on their feet. Those crews are now coming back. And as Jason said, we've got a short-term plan in place to catch up on that capital spend, but our longer-term view of tying up crews and making sure we have the long lead time items ordered give us a great deal of confidence that the capital plan we have is and it's going to be achievable.

Insoo Kim -- Goldman Sach -- Analyst

Understood. And just quickly, the other question I had was, as we think about the closing of the midstream transaction. Remind me, is there -- I know you've already priced a contingent sale of a portion of it, but is there a limit on how much you can sell in terms of the units at any given time?

David J. Lesar -- President & Chief Executive Officer

I'll let my very good CFO, Jason, answer that question.

Jason P. Wells -- Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning & Investor Relations

Insoo, thanks for the question. No, there's no direct limit. We had talked about previously the need to register those units. Energy Transfer has already undertaken that effort. So we execute a contingent forward up until the close as we have done. Once the deal is closed, to the extent that we want to execute a marketed offering, we have to obviously coordinate with Energy Transfer. We have full flexibility to do that after the close of the transaction. And then similarly, we'll have the ability to dribble the share. So I think we're moving to a place of full control, no limitation on the number of units.

Insoo Kim -- Goldman Sach -- Analyst

Got it. Thank you.

Operator

Our next question is from Julien Dumoulin-Smith with Bank of America. Please proceed with your question.

Julien Dumoulin-Smith -- Bank of America -- Analyst

Sorry about the [Indecipherable] there. I wanted at -- my condolences as well here.

David J. Lesar -- President & Chief Executive Officer

I tell you, I didn't think this would turn into a [Indecipherable], but I appreciate the condolence. There's always a nice you remember that.

Julien Dumoulin-Smith -- Bank of America -- Analyst

We know they're close to your heart. There you go. Indeed. Listen, just wondering what's driving the confidence still on the timeline for the ET deal here? Just -- I know you mentioned it here again. You mentioned at the Analyst Day, but -- and maybe remind us where that process stands specifically with respect to FTC. Obviously, they continue to put out their own headlines?

Jason P. Wells -- Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning & Investor Relations

Hey. Good morning, Julien, it's Jason here. Look, as we said at Analyst Day, Energy Transfer enabled obviously taking the lead with this and the conversations with the FTC. We're clearly a very interested party and everything that we've observed just gives us confidence that this deal will get closed here in the fourth quarter. So I don't think -- it's probably more of a direct question for Energy Transfer for how those conversations are going by the day. But as I said, as we observe the progress, we continue to remain confident of a close here in Q4.

Julien Dumoulin-Smith -- Bank of America -- Analyst

Got it. All right. Fair enough. And then on this alternate stabilization plan, can you talk a little bit more about the mechanics? Obviously, it's early here, but has there been any feedback so far on the proposal? Obviously, these are somewhat sensitive subjects. So I'll let you respond accordingly.

Jason P. Wells -- Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning & Investor Relations

Thanks, Julien. It's a really unique situation, obviously, in Minnesota with the incremental gas costs [Indecipherable] the fact that we've got a regular rate case schedule there. And so while we filed a typical rate case, we thought it was prudent to bring forward, but we've deemed a rate stabilization plan. And I think we -- what it tries to do is build off of what was just a recent settlement of the [Indecipherable].

Julien Dumoulin-Smith -- Bank of America -- Analyst

And lastly just so just super quick there. I heard you guys comment on the back of gen in Texas. But any updates on for instance, Texas transmission? Obviously, the PUCT seems to be moving fairly swiftly still here. Curious if there's anything to be said on that front as a function of reforms?

David J. Lesar -- President & Chief Executive Officer

Yes. I think maybe just to tease you a little bit. Yes, we're having some dialogue with them on additional transmission lines, but it's really too early to talk about any specifics on it.

Julien Dumoulin-Smith -- Bank of America -- Analyst

Okay. All right. Fair enough. Bye. Best of luck, people. Thanks.

David J. Lesar -- President & Chief Executive Officer

Thanks.

Operator

Our next question is from Durgesh Chopra with Evercore ISI. Please proceed with your question.

David J. Lesar -- President & Chief Executive Officer

Good morning.

Durgesh Chopra -- Evercore ISI -- Analyst

Hey. Good morning, Jason,.So just one for me. Just on the Indiana solar program, David, in your commentary, you mentioned 75-25 mix, 75 rate base, 25 PPA. Is that sort of what you're targeting going forward in your plans? And just curious as to how you got there in terms of the 75-25 mix?

David J. Lesar -- President & Chief Executive Officer

I'll let Jason can answer that.

Jason P. Wells -- Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning & Investor Relations

Durgesh, it's -- overall, as we look at this first sort of part of our coal transition plan, we're targeting a 50-50 allocation that is 50% owned renewables, 50% contracted through PPAs, the renewable portion for the first tranche of the coal transition. We had filed originally, as you pointed out and as Dave mentioned in his prepared remarks, an initial tranche of solar that was 75% owned, 25% PPA. We then subsequently filed in the third quarter this year for 100% PPA solar projects. And so again, as you look through kind of each of these individual filings, we're targeting a 50%-50% owned contract target mix for renewables.

Durgesh Chopra -- Evercore ISI -- Analyst

Got it. Thank you very much.

Operator

Our last question is from Stephen Byrd from Morgan Stanley. Please proceed with your question.

Stephen Byrd -- Morgan Stanley -- Analyst

Hey, good morning.

David J. Lesar -- President & Chief Executive Officer

Good morning.

Jason P. Wells -- Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning & Investor Relations

Good morning.

Stephen Byrd -- Morgan Stanley -- Analyst

Just had one kind of a broad question, just on draft federal legislation. And as you look at that, I know that's subject to change and who knows what the final version will look like. But I was thinking in particular about, I guess, two elements. One would be a tax policy and impacts in terms of cash flow, customer bills, etc. And then the other was just broad support for clean energy, whether that might change or enhance some of your resource plans and movement toward clean energy or accelerate some of your plans. So just curious what you're thinking there?

David J. Lesar -- President & Chief Executive Officer

I mean, I'll -- let me take the first crack at it, and I'll have Jason can talk about the potential tax impact. But you're absolutely right. It's definitely a moving target right now and haven't been through many of these sorts of efforts that wind their way through Washington. I learned a long time ago. You really -- you got to just sort of watch the process happen, but you don't want to do anything sort of concrete until it is set in law and then you can react to it.

I think directionally, from if you look at sort of the renewables and the ESG aspects of it, it's certainly supportive of the direction that we're going. But based on what we see right now, I don't see it accelerating or decelerating anything that we've got on plans. We have, as you know, sort of an industry-leading goal out there of net direct emissions to 0 by 2035. And I think that's a good plan.

We're going to stick with it. That's the direction we're headed. If we get some incremental help with what comes out of D.C., we'll take advantage of it. But it isn't going to bump us off course from the direction we're headed right now. Jason, do you want to talk about the tax aspect?

Jason P. Wells -- Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning & Investor Relations

Yes, sure. Thanks for the question, Stephen. From a tax standpoint, we are a federal cash taxpayer. Right now as you kind of cut through sort of our financials, there's a lot of sort of onetime items as we've executed on this transition to a pure play regulated utility and we'll continue to see that. As you kind of cut through that, for us, we are -- our effective tax rate from a cash tax standpoint is somewhere between 8% to 10%. So clearly, a minimum tax of 15% would put a little bit of an impact or headwind on the financing plan.

We don't think it's certainly something that we can overcome. We don't think it's an impediment to the Capex plan that we outlined and still feel like we can continue to maintain a strong balance sheet as we outlined and deliver on our $40 billion capital investment plan. So early days, we'll follow it, probably not as big an impact to us as maybe some of our peers just given the fact that we have been federal cash taxpayer, but obviously something we'll continue to monitor.

Stephen Byrd -- Morgan Stanley -- Analyst

That's great. Thank you very much.

Philip Holder -- Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning & Investor Relations

Again, thank you, everyone, for joining us today and for your interest in CenterPoint. We look forward to seeing you all at EEI.

Operator

[Operator Closing Remarks]

Duration: 44 minutes

Call participants:

Philip Holder -- Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning & Investor Relations

David J. Lesar -- President & Chief Executive Officer

Jason P. Wells -- Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning & Investor Relations

Anthony Crowdell -- Mizuho -- Analyst

Shahriar Pourreza -- Guggenheim Partners -- Analyst

Insoo Kim -- Goldman Sach -- Analyst

Julien Dumoulin-Smith -- Bank of America -- Analyst

Durgesh Chopra -- Evercore ISI -- Analyst

Stephen Byrd -- Morgan Stanley -- Analyst

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