Emergency standby generators can provide you with an extra sense of security during hurricane season and when power outages occur. At CenterPoint Energy, we understand that an emergency standby generator can be a convenient source of power for your home or business. However, it is very important that an emergency standby generator be properly installed and used safely.
Emergency standby generators use a transfer switch (ATS) to disconnect from utility service in the event of an outage and to reconnect utility service once power is restored. For your safety and the safety of our employees, the ATS for all generator installations must be reviewed and approved by CenterPoint Energy prior to installation. This is to ensure the proper documentation is reviewed and that the proper service disconnection type is identified before the ATS is installed.
It is the customer’s responsibility to submit a request for approval of the ATS to CenterPoint Energy. To apply, simply follow the steps below. If you are working with a generator dealer, licensed electrician or other licensed contractor for the generator installation, they can assist in obtaining the needed documentation for approval.
How to apply:
To apply for a generator installation in your home or place of business, please send your request with required documentation to: ATS.Approvals@centerpointenergy.com
The ATS mailbox is monitored Monday-Friday during normal business hours. When your request is received, a response is typically provided within approximately two business days
Your request must include the following information:
- Electrician name and license number
- Electrical one-line diagram (Click here to view sample) that includes:
- All load panels
- ATS specifications
- Manufacturer and model and/or catalog number of the ATS and generator
- Customer name, address and email
Please note: If any of these required details are missing, your request may be rejected.
Once the ATS has been approved, you can proceed with the final stages of installing and connecting the generator to your home’s electric service. Please follow the steps below to complete the installation.
Before the approved generator is installed:
- Your electrician or installing contractor will ask the customer to request a temporary disconnect. To request the temporary disconnect call your retail electric provider or CenterPoint Energy.
- If the incorrect request is received, CenterPoint Energy will require the customer to request a new transaction.
- The electrician or installing contractor must wait until CenterPoint Energy has completed the temporary disconnect before beginning work.
- The customer must request a reconnect after all work is complete by calling either your retail electric provider or CenterPoint Energy.
Please note: A permit is required in most of the CenterPoint Energy territory. The city and/or county where the property is located can advise if a permit is required.
The CenterPoint Energy Distribution Reliability group reserves the right to inspect any generator installation in the field and require corrections before approved for further use.
Is an emergency standby generator the same as Distributed Generation?
No. Emergency standby generators, connected properly with an open-transition transfer switch, will not allow the generator and the Utility to operate in parallel. The approval process for an emergency standby generator is shorter than Distributed Generation for this reason.
Why do emergency standby generators need to be approved?
Safety is at the core of CenterPoint Energy’s operating focuses. Emergency standby generators, connected with an open transition transfer switch, will not allow the generator to back-feed to the utility system. In a storm condition, this prevents downed power lines or power lines being worked on from being energized through back-feeding of a generator.
How long does the approval process take?
Once the information is submitted via email at ATS.Approvals@CenterPointEnergy.com, the submitter will receive an automated response providing confirmation of receipt and further details. A complete response will be provided within two business days of receipt.
The Service Consultant for your area is the best person to contact. You can request the name of the consultant from the Reliability Engineer, who sends the ATS approval response, or the CenterPoint Energy Customer Service department (713-207-2222). The service address will be required to look up the account.
How do I know if a permit is required?
The city and/or county where the property is located can advise if a permit is required for the service. The Service Consultant for the area can also assist if you have issues.
Do I need to submit a request if my generator is not installed yet?
Yes. If you are installing a transfer switch for a future generator installation, a request for approval is required.
I already have a generator and transfer switch installed, do I still need to have it approved?
Yes. If CenterPoint Energy service personnel is at a service that does not have an approved transfer switch/emergency generator, CenterPoint Energy reserves the right to disconnect the service until the transfer switch is approved. A permanent note to the account will be made after approval for future reference.
Does the approval request require any charges?
No. The purpose of the request is to provide safe electrical working conditions for the public and utility personnel.
Is there a particular brand that CenterPoint Energy requires for transfer switches?
No. CenterPoint Energy is not brand specific on transfer switch or generator. The transfer switch is reviewed to ensure open transition switching (break before make transition), and that there are not any National Electric Code violations with the submittal.