Governor Asa Hutchinson proclaims April as Arkansas Safe Digging Month

HOUSTON April 18, 2017Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson issued a proclamation announcing April as Arkansas Safe Digging Month. The proclamation reminds homeowners to call 811 before starting any outdoor digging projects to prevent injuries, property damage and inconvenient outages.

An underground utility line is damaged once every six minutes nationwide because someone decided to dig without first calling 811, according to data collected by Common Ground Alliance (CGA). 

"Contacting 811 at least two working days before digging prevents 99 percent of damages to vital underground utilities," said Vincent Vickers, supervisor of Damage Prevention for CenterPoint Energy.  "811 makes it very easy and convenient. You can submit your dig requests on your home computer on the website, www.arkonecall.com, or call 811 and talk to an operator."

By calling 811 before digging:

  • Homeowners are connected to Arkansas One Call, which notifies the appropriate utility companies of the intent to dig.
  • Professional locators are then sent to the requested digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags and paint.
  • Once lines have been accurately marked, homeowners can dig carefully around marked lines.

Digging without knowing the approximate location of underground utilities can result in damage to gas, electric, communications, water and sewer lines, which can lead to service disruptions, serious injuries and costly repairs.


Examples of digging projects that require a call to 811 before starting would be installing a mailbox, putting in a fence, laying underground cable or installing water lines. Visit www.call811.com for more information about 811 and the call-before-you-dig process.

CenterPoint Energy, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission & distribution, natural gas distribution and energy services operations. The company serves more than five million metered customers primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas. The company also owns a 54.1 percent limited partner interest in Enable Midstream Partners, a publicly traded master limited partnership it jointly controls with OGE Energy Corp., which owns, operates and develops natural gas and crude oil infrastructure assets. With more than 7,700 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 140 years. For more information, visit the website at www.CenterPointEnergy.com

2017-04-18T05:00:00Z
Gov. Greg Abbott proclaims April as Texas Safe Digging Month

HOUSTON April 18, 2017Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a proclamation announcing April as Texas Safe Digging Month. The proclamation reminds homeowners to call 811 before starting any outdoor digging projects to prevent injuries, property damage and inconvenient outages.

An underground utility line is damaged once every six minutes nationwide because someone decided to dig without first calling 811, according to data collected by Common Ground Alliance (CGA). 

"Contacting 811 at least two working days before digging prevents 99 percent of damages to vital underground utilities," said Joseph Berry, director of Underground Locating for CenterPoint Energy.  "811 makes it very easy and convenient. You can submit your dig requests on your home computer at the website, www.lonestar811.com, or call 811 and talk to an operator."

By calling 811 before digging:

  • Homeowners are connected to Lone Star 811, which notifies the appropriate utility companies of the intent to dig.
  • Professional locators are then sent to the requested digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags and paint.
  • Once lines have been accurately marked, homeowners can dig carefully around marked lines.


Digging without knowing the approximate location of underground utilities can result in damage to gas, electric, communications, water and sewer lines, which can lead to service disruptions, serious injuries and costly repairs.


Every digging project, no matter how large or small, necessitates a call to 811. Examples of digging projects that require a call to 811 before starting would be installing a mailbox, putting in a fence, laying underground cable or installing water lines.  Visit www.call811.com for more information about 811 and the call-before-you-dig process.

CenterPoint Energy, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission & distribution, natural gas distribution and energy services operations. The company serves more than five million metered customers primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas. The company also owns a 54.1 percent limited partner interest in Enable Midstream Partners, a publicly traded master limited partnership it jointly controls with OGE Energy Corp., which owns, operates and develops natural gas and crude oil infrastructure assets. With more than 7,700 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 140 years. For more information, visit the website at www.CenterPointEnergy.com

2017-04-18T05:00:00Z
CenterPoint Energy reaches rate case settlement for Houston-area customers

HOUSTON, April 7, 2017 - CenterPoint Energy today filed with the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) a Stipulation and Agreement (the settlement) in the company's pending rate case. The settlement was entered into by all parties in the case, including the City of Houston/Houston Coalition of Cities, the Gulf Coast Coalition of Cities, the Texas Coast Utilities Coalition, and the Staff of the RRC. If approved by the RRC, the settlement will resolve all issues in that proceeding.

The settlement would increase the company's natural gas distribution base rate revenues for Houston-area customers by approximately $16.5 million per year. Additionally, if approved, the settlement will result in initial base rates that are the same for customers in the Houston Division and Texas Coast Division. It would also set a uniform rate for the cost of natural gas, which the company passes on to customers with no mark up.

The settlement would set new parameters, including a 9.6% return on equity on a 55.15% equity capital structure and updated depreciation rates, to be used in future Gas Reliability Infrastructure Program (GRIP) filings. GRIP is an interim rate adjustment allowed by Texas statute that allows utilities to recover their costs related to additional invested capital without filing a full rate case. CenterPoint Energy must file its next GRIP filing within two years of a final order in the pending rate case and a full rate case must be filed within five-and-a-half years after CenterPoint Energy's next GRIP filing.

If approved, residential customers within the Houston and Texas Coast Divisions would pay the same fixed monthly charge of $15.75 and the same usage rate of $0.07431 for each hundred cubic feet (Ccf) of natural gas used. An average residential bill with usage of 34 Ccf would be approximately $37 per month, excluding taxes. If the settlement is approved, the new rates are expected to go into effect in May or June of this year.

"This settlement is the result of collaborative work with all parties involved in the case to find common ground on a solution rather than litigating an extended rate case," said Randy Pryor, CenterPoint Energy's vice president of gas operations. "We believe this settlement benefits all parties and provides CenterPoint Energy the opportunity to earn a reasonable return on the investments we are making for safety and reliability now and in the future," added Pryor.

CenterPoint Energy, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission & distribution, natural gas distribution and energy services operations. The company serves more than five million metered customers primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas. The company also owns a 54.1 percent limited partner interest in Enable Midstream Partners, a publicly traded master limited partnership it jointly controls with OGE Energy Corp.,  which owns, operates and develops natural gas and crude oil infrastructure assets. With more than 7,700 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 140 years. For more information, visit the website at www.CenterPointEnergy.com.

This news release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  These forward-looking statements are based upon assumptions of management which are believed to be reasonable at the time made and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. Actual events and results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Any statements in this news release regarding future events, such as future regulatory actions on the settlement by the RRC and the impact of such actions, and any other statements that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements. Each forward-looking statement contained in this news release speaks only as of the date of this release.

2017-04-07T05:00:00Z
CenterPoint Energy electric transmission and distribution business files Distribution Cost Recovery Factor application

HOUSTON - April 6, 2017 - CenterPoint Energy announced today that its electric transmission and distribution business, CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric, filed an application for Distribution Cost Recovery Factor (DCRF) with the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) and the cities in its service area.

DCRF is an interim rate adjustment that, if approved, permits an electric utility to implement new rates to account for changes in distribution-invested capital since its last rate case.

"Houston's economy continues to thrive and we are making significant capital investments to meet the needs of our growing customer base and load," said Kenny Mercado, senior vice president of CenterPoint Energy's Electric Operations.

This is the company's third DCRF filing and represents a $44.6 million annual increase over current rates to begin recovering approximately $479 million in distribution capital invested in 2016. The estimated residential customer impact based on a monthly usage of 1,000 kilowatt hours is an $0.80 increase billed to the consumer's Retail Electric Provider. New rates are expected to go into effect by September 1.

 

CenterPoint Energy, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission & distribution, natural gas distribution and energy services operations. The company serves more than five million metered customers primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas. The company also owns a 54.1 percent limited partner interest in Enable Midstream Partners, a publicly traded master limited partnership it jointly controls with OGE Energy Corp., which owns, operates and develops natural gas and crude oil infrastructure assets. With more than 7,700 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 140 years. For more information, visit the website at www.CenterPointEnergy.com.

This news release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based upon assumptions of management which are believed to be reasonable at the time made and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. Actual events and results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Any statements in this news release regarding future events, such as future regulatory actions on the DCRF application, future economic conditions and any other statements that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements. Each forward-looking statement contained in this news release speaks only as of the date of this release.

2017-04-06T05:00:00Z
CenterPoint Energy files Formula Rate Plan adjustment with Arkansas Public Service Commission

HOUSTON – April 5, 2017 - CenterPoint Energy announced today that its natural gas distribution utility filed an application with the Arkansas Public Service Commission (APSC) for a $9.1 million Formula Rate Plan (FRP) adjustment. The FRP, a formula rate review mechanism authorized by Act 725 of 2015, is an annual streamlined review of a public utility's rates to determine if adjustments are needed to recover costs related to additional invested capital and expenses without filing a full rate case. 

"We continue to make significant investments to help ensure we have a modernized, technologically advanced natural gas system that will continue to meet the needs of our customers now and in the future," said Walter Bryant, vice president of Gas Operations in Arkansas. "The FRP helps support these investments for system safety and reliability by reducing lag in a utility's recovery of necessary investments and expenses. It also smooths out rate adjustments for customers by having smaller adjustments over time versus large adjustments from time to time."

If approved, the net impact of the new rates will increase a residential customer's bill that was $100.00 to $102.48.

CenterPoint Energy, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission & distribution, natural gas distribution and energy services operations. The company serves more than five million metered customers primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas. The company also owns a 54.1 percent limited partner interest in Enable Midstream Partners, a publicly traded master limited partnership it jointly controls with OGE Energy Corp., which owns, operates and develops natural gas and crude oil infrastructure assets. With more than 7,700 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 140 years. For more information, visit the website at www.CenterPointEnergy.com.

This news release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based upon assumptions of management which are believed to be reasonable at the time made and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. Actual events and results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Any statements in this news release regarding future events, such as future regulatory actions on the FRP adjustment application, and any other statements that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements. Each forward-looking statement contained in this news release speaks only as of the date of this release.

2017-04-05T05:00:00Z
John Sousa joins CenterPoint Energy as vice president of Corporate Communications and Community Relations

HOUSTON – April 4, 2017 – John Sousa has joined CenterPoint Energy as vice president of Corporate Communications and Community Relations, effective March 13. In this capacity, Sousa leads all corporate communications activities, including internal communications, external media relations, crisis management and community relations.  He also provides strategic direction on matters affecting the reputation of the company; works cross-functionally with leaders from division and corporate teams to ensure strategic alignment of internal and external messages; and develops and executes creative and flexible communications approaches to educate, engage and meet the needs of the company's diverse workforce and external constituencies.

Sousa has more than 25 years of experience developing, executing and measuring integrated communications and community relations programs in corporate and agency environments. From global communications campaigns to grassroots outreach, Sousa has served as a strategic source of communications and community relations solutions, delivering measurable results that support the overarching objectives of the organizations in which he has worked.

"John brings extensive experience and a record of community service to our company. Throughout his career, he has sought out opportunities to expand his role from a traditional communications practitioner to a more transformational function within the organization," said Sue Ortenstone, senior vice president and chief Human Resources officer. "He has held diverse leadership roles with renowned companies, leading departments responsible for internal and external communications and community relations. We are excited to have someone as accomplished as John on our team."

Sousa joins CenterPoint Energy from ConocoPhillips, where he served as manager of Communications, Brand and Community Relations. Prior to this role, Sousa served as vice president of Communications and Community Relations at El Paso Corp. He has also held leadership positions at Fleishman-Hillard International Communications and Dynegy Inc., an independent power producer.

Sousa earned a bachelor's degree in sociology and history from Bowdoin College and a master's degree in mass communications from Boston University's College of Communication.

2017-04-04T05:00:00Z
CenterPoint Energy submits proposal to enhance and build electric transmission facilities to serve the growing petrochemical industry along the Texas Gulf Coast

Houston – April 3, 2017 - CenterPoint Energy, Inc.'s (NYSE: CNP) electric utility submitted a proposal to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) requesting its endorsement for CenterPoint to enhance existing, and construct new, electric transmission infrastructure. This project would meet the unprecedented load growth of the petrochemical industry in the Freeport, Texas area. This growth includes new committed load expected to total approximately 1,340 megawatts, which is planned to go into service at varying stages between 2017 and 2019. The company expects to have the proposed enhancements complete by summer 2019 and the proposed new line is anticipated to be in service in 2021.

The approximately $250 million transmission project includes enhancements to two existing substations and construction of a new 345 kilovolt double-circuit transmission line. Capital expenditures for the project would be incremental to the five-year capital plan as disclosed in the 2016 Form 10-K.

"We are fortunate to serve an area that continues to experience growth and expansion in the petrochemical industry," said Kenny Mercado, senior vice president of CenterPoint Energy's Electric Operations. "This project is critical to reliability due to the magnitude of new load being added to the area."

The proposed project timeline takes into consideration the typical lead times necessary to implement the proposed enhancements and construction, including review by ERCOT and the Public Utility Commission of Texas. The company anticipates a decision by the fourth quarter of 2017.

 

Forward-Looking Statements: This news release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based upon assumptions of management which are believed to be reasonable at the time made and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. Actual events and results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements.  Any statements in this news release regarding future events, such as future construction and expansion of electric transmission lines and facilities, future regulatory actions, future economic conditions and any other statements that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements. Each forward-looking statement contained in this news release speaks only as of the date of this release.

CenterPoint Energy, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission & distribution, natural gas distribution and energy services operations. The company serves more than five million metered customers primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas. The company also owns a 54.1 percent limited partner interest in Enable Midstream Partners, a publicly traded master limited partnership it jointly controls with OGE Energy Corp.,  which owns, operates and develops natural gas and crude oil infrastructure assets. With more than 7,700 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 140 years. For more information, visit the website at www.CenterPointEnergy.com.

2017-04-03T05:00:00Z
CenterPoint Energy honored by Junior Achievement with A U.S. President's Volunteer Service Award

HOUSTON – March 14, 2017 – Junior Achievement USA® (JA) announced that it has honored CenterPoint Energy with a Bronze level 2015-2016 U.S. President's Volunteer Service Award for providing more than 5,000 volunteer hours to local Junior Achievement offices during the 2015-2016 school year. The U.S. President's Volunteer Service Award was presented to 64 organizations at an evening awards ceremony during the JA Volunteer Summit, on March 7, 2017 in New York, NY.

In 2003, President George W. Bush established the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation (the Council) to recognize the valuable contributions volunteers make in communities and encourage more people to serve. The Council created the President's Volunteer Service Award program as a way to thank and honor individuals who, by their demonstrated commitment and example, inspire others to engage in volunteer service. In 2006, Junior Achievement became an official certifying organization for this award, which recognizes corporations with a U.S. presence that provide volunteers to teach JA programs anywhere in the world.

"Junior Achievement volunteers are important mentors for young people, bringing our programs to life. JA volunteers share their experiences and skills with students while delivering our programs, teaching them how to manage their money, succeed in the workforce, or start a business that creates jobs and grows the economy. JA's volunteers are critical to our organization's success and are a vital part of our mission," said Rick Franke, president of Junior Achievement of Southeast Texas.

"Respect for the communities in which we operate is a core value upon which CenterPoint Energy has operated for many years," said Scott Prochazka, president and chief executive officer for CenterPoint Energy and JA of Southeast Texas board member. "Our company works with the communities we serve to enhance quality of life in the areas of community development, health and human services and education."

To learn more about what CenterPoint Energy is doing in your community, visit CenterPointEnergy.com/Community.

2017-03-14T05:00:00Z
CenterPoint Energy honored by Junior Achievement with A U.S. President's Volunteer Service Award

MINNEAPOLIS – March 14, 2017 – Junior Achievement USA® (JA) announced that it has honored CenterPoint Energy with a Bronze level 2015-2016 U.S. President's Volunteer Service Award for providing more than 5,000 volunteer hours to local Junior Achievement offices during the 2015-2016 school year. The U.S. President's Volunteer Service Award was presented to 64 organizations at an evening awards ceremony during the JA Volunteer Summit, on March 7, 2017 in New York, NY.

In 2003, President George W. Bush established the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation (the Council) to recognize the valuable contributions volunteers make in communities and encourage more people to serve. The Council created the President's Volunteer Service Award program as a way to thank and honor individuals who, by their demonstrated commitment and example, inspire others to engage in volunteer service. In 2006, Junior Achievement became an official certifying organization for this award, which recognizes corporations with a U.S. presence that provide volunteers to teach JA programs anywhere in the world.

 "Junior Achievement volunteers are important mentors for young people, bringing our programs to life. JA volunteers share their experiences and skills with students while delivering our programs, teaching them how to manage their money, succeed in the workforce, or start a business that creates jobs and grows the economy. JA's volunteers are critical to our organization's success and are a vital part of our mission," said Gina Blayney, president of Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest.

"Respect for the communities in which we operate is a core value upon which CenterPoint Energy has operated for many years," said Scott Prochazka, president and chief executive officer for CenterPoint Energy and JA of Southeast Texas board member. "Our company works with the communities we serve to enhance quality of life in the areas of community development, health and human services and education."

To learn more about what CenterPoint Energy is doing in your community, visit CenterPointEnergy.com/Community.

2017-03-14T05:00:00Z
CenterPoint Energy Employees Present Workshop to Future Leaders

​CenterPoint Energy employees, in conjunction with the Beaumont Chamber Foundation, conducted a leadership workshop at Vidor High School on Wednesday, March 8, 2017. 

Nearly 40 high school students were chosen by their counselors and club sponsors to attend this workshop in an effort to grow their leadership skills.  The workshop combined activities, group projects, and personality quizzes in order to acquire necessary skills to lead their organizations.  The leadership workshop was the first in a new initiative to train local youth to become effective leaders.

Matt McCallon, Senior Marketing Consultant, and Tara Vincent, Ops Support Rep were two of the three presenters to the group of high school students attending the workshop.  They were honored to represent CenterPoint Energy and impart skills and knowledge regarding effective communication, group collaboration, and a charge to share newly learned skills with their peers.  McCallon and Vincent work out of CenterPoint's Southeast TX District Office in Beaumont, Texas.

 

 

2017-03-13T05:00:00Z

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