EVANSVILLE, In. (WEHT) – The Evansville City Council has voted to serve as an intervenor in future court cases involving CenterPoint Energy’s utility rates.

An intervenor is a party that doesn’t have a direct interest in the proceeding, but clearly has interest in the outcome of the action and can influence the decision. All City Council members voted in favor of the position except Jonathan Weaver.

Weaver says that while residents’ frustrations with high energy bills have been made clear, he’s concerned about the fact that the Council has not budgeted for litigation in 2024. “There’s other priorities; I understand CenterPoint bills are a concern to a lot of residents, but as a Council and as someone on a budgeting body, that’s just not something that we need to be doing at this time.”

Weaver also says there should not be so much government overreach in telling a private business what to do with its business model. Meanwhile, other Council members say they look forward to the chance to look out for residents and their best interests.

“I think this is an opportunity to really show how much residents are really hurting because of the prices of CenterPoint,” says City Council member Alex Burton. “People are already paying a lot of money for rent, and you add in the prices of (utilities) in a home that might not be weatherized correctly, that leads to a lot of people’s paychecks just to live.”

Eyewitness News reached out to CenterPoint regarding the Council’s decision. A spokesperson tells us CenterPoint is continuing to get information on the vote, and says they “will continue to engage with the city, City Council and other external stakeholders as we move forward.”