The Associated Press

GALVESTON, Texas (AP) - Galveston County residents could face higher electric rates, but not as much as utilities first wanted as the companies pay for Hurricane Ike-related repairs.

Three companies have amended their requests for a rate increase because of ongoing repairs due to the Sept. 13, 2008 storm, the Galveston County Daily News reported Thursday.

CenterPoint Energy, Entergy and Texas-New Mexico Power Co. all agreed to trim their original rate hike requests before the Public Utility Commission, which could soon review the settlement proposals.

The Galveston area took a direct hit from Ike, which swamped parts of the island and forced evacuations. The hurricane battered the popular tourist spot with 110-mph winds and 12-foot storm surge.

CenterPoint Energy at first asked the PUC for permission to collect $688 million to cover its costs to restore electricity after Ike, but after reviews pared that request to $663 million.

Texas-New Mexico Power Co. manages poles and wires carrying electricity in Dickinson, Friendswood, La Marque, League City and Texas City.

Texas-New Mexico Power had asked the PUC to allow it charge customers an additional $24.4 million a year for recovery costs. The company has since reduced its rate request to $12.7 million, said spokeswoman Cathy Garber.

Entergy, which manages poles and electric lines on Bolivar Peninsula, in the spring asked to recover $577 million from customers for Hurricane Ike repairs. It has since agreed to trim that request to $545 million, said spokeswoman Debi Derrick said.

Information from: The Galveston County Daily News, http://www.galvnews.com