CenterPoint Energy signs agreement with subsidiary of Atmos Energy Corporation to acquire retail energy services business
Accretive acquisition complements CenterPoint Energy’s non-regulated retail energy services business
2016-10-31T05:00:00Z

​​Houston - Oct. 31, 2016 - CenterPoint Energy Services, Inc. (CES), an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of CenterPoint Energy, Inc.,(NYSE:CNP) announced that it had signed an agreement under which CES will acquire Atmos Energy’s retail energy services business, Atmos Energy Marketing, LLC (AEM). The purchase price for the acquisition is $40 million plus working capital subject to customary post-closing purchase price adjustments. These assets will be combined with CenterPoint Energy’s non-regulated Energy Services business, which when finalized, will operate in six additional states for a total of 32 states, and deliver in excess of one trillion cubic feet of natural gas to approximately 100,000 customers (33,000 metered commercial and industrial customers and 65,000 individual Choice retail customers). 

AEM is a full-service natural gas marketing company that provides natural gas supply and asset management services to utilities, local distribution companies, and industrial and commercial facilities as well as municipals, power plants and natural gas producers.

“This is an exciting time for our CES business with a second announced acquisition this year,” said Joe Vortherms, vice president of CES. “AEM has built an impressive business, which will enable CES to more effectively access new markets and customer segments, grow our customer base and gross margins, and maintain our low value-at-risk, cost-effective organizational structure. Their complementary operational and geographic footprints will provide CES with the kind of scale, geographic reach, and expanded capabilities that will enable it to grow, while maintaining a focus on excellent customer service.” 

The acquisition of AEM consists of:
  • Gas supply, which includes a diverse supplier portfolio of large and small gas producers and marketers,
  • ​Gas supply management (nominations, scheduling, balancing),
  • Contract management and
  • Storage options and services. 

CES and AEM: A strategic and operational fit 
  • Similar low value-at-risk models, with a core focus on retail.
  • AEM adds approximately 400 Bcf of additional natural gas throughput.
  • ​Pro forma, CES will deliver in excess of one trillion cubic feet of natural gas to approximately 100,000 customers in 32 states.

Transaction Terms and Other Details
The transaction, financed from internally generated cash flow or borrowings under CenterPoint Energy’s commercial paper programs, is expected to close in early 2017, subject to customary closing conditions, the expiration of any Hart-Scott-Rodino waiting period and receipt of certain third-party consents. The transaction has been approved by the board of directors of both companies.​

BakerHostetler acted as outside legal counsel and J.P. Morgan acted as financial advisor to CenterPoint Energy.
CenterPoint Energy

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 55.4 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 7,400 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 140 years. For more information, visit the website at CenterPointEnergy.com.

CenterPoint Energy Services

CES is an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of CenterPoint Energy, an electric and natural gas energy delivery company headquartered in Houston with more than 140 years of experience in the utility and retail energy industry. CES is focused on its low value-at-risk commercial retail business. CES is a profitable business that complements CenterPoint Energy’s natural gas distribution business by providing gas purchase options to customers across multiple states. Combined, CES and the company’s natural gas distribution business deliver more than one trillion cubic feet of natural gas a year.

This news release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements, which include the ability of the companies to receive regulatory and other approvals and close the transaction, the ability of CES to access new markets and customer segments, its footprint, expanded capabilities, customer growth and future customer count and the impact on future earnings, gross margin and future operations, 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 earnings, growth, performance, results of operations 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. Factors that could affect actual results include (1) the ability of the parties to satisfy the conditions precedent and consummate the proposed transactions and the timing of the consummation of the proposed transactions, (2) factors related to our business and the economy, including commodity prices, (3) the performance of the companies, (4) competitive conditions in the industry, (5) state and federal legislative and regulatory actions or developments affecting various aspects of the businesses and (6) other factors discussed in CenterPoint Energy's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2015, as well as in CenterPoint Energy's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 2016, and June 30, 2016, and other reports on Form 8-K CenterPoint Energy or its subsidiaries may file from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission.





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CenterPoint Energy making significant progress restoring service following natural gas outage in Paragould

HOUSTON – December 2, 2016 - CenterPoint Energy has made progress in restoring natural gas service to approximately 450 customers in Paragould, Ark. Customers have been without gas service because of a disruption in the company's gas supply which occurred yesterday afternoon.

"We called in additional employees from other parts of Arkansas which allowed us to turn off each customer's meter yesterday," said Terry Rollins, district director for CenterPoint Energy. "We are now beginning the process of going home to home to restore service to each customer."

The relighting process requires CenterPoint Energy employees to have access to each location to light pilots and check to make sure it is safe to resume service.

"We understand this is an inconvenience, but we appreciate our customers' cooperation and patience," Rollins said. "If at all possible, we'd like to ask that customers be at home since it is necessary for our employees to go inside to restore natural gas service.

"A customer needs to call us only if there is a door hanger at their home or business indicating that we've already been by to attempt to restore service. Please call the number on the door tag left by our service personnel."

For safety reasons, the company urges customers not to turn any valves or tamper with the natural gas meter. Opening or turning any valves could allow air to enter the natural gas lines, which would hinder the re-pressurization process.

"We estimate that all customers who are home will have service restored by this evening," Rollins said.

For updates, follow CenterPoint Energy on Twitter: @CNPAlerts.

CenterPoint Energy reports natural gas outage for customers in Paragould, Arkansas

Houston – December 1, 2016 - CenterPoint Energy is experiencing a natural gas outage on the east side of Paragould, Arkansas that is affecting about 450 customers.

"Safety is our number one priority as we work to restore natural gas service," said Terry Rollins, district director for CenterPoint Energy. "As part of our procedure, we have begun the process this afternoon of turning off each customer's natural gas meter; our goal is to have each meter turned off by later this evening.

"We will then work to ensure that the natural gas distribution lines are clear of air. Once the lines are clear, our certified service technicians will begin performing a series of safety checks to ensure there is no risk involved in restoring gas service," Rollins added. "To perform these inspections, CenterPoint Energy service technicians will need to enter each home or business; we expect this process to begin tomorrow morning and continue throughout the day tomorrow. We have also brought in technicians from other parts of the state to assist in restoring gas service."

"There is no need to call us as we make our initial assessments," Rollins said. "We anticipate restoring service to most customers by end of day tomorrow. At this time, no action is required on the part of the customer. If an adult over age 18 is not at the service address when a technician arrives, the company will leave a door hanger with instructions."

For safety reasons, the company urges customers not to turn any valves or tamper with the natural gas meter. Opening or turning any valves could allow air to enter the natural gas lines, which would hinder the restoration process.

For updates, follow CenterPoint Energy on Twitter: @CNPAlerts.

CenterPoint Energy issues important cold weather safety tips

HOUSTON – November 30, 2016 – As the temperatures drop, CenterPoint Energy reminds natural gas customers of some important tips to stay safe and warm this season.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas that is colorless, odorless, tasteless and non-irritating, and any fuel-burning appliance in the home has the potential to produce CO. To prevent CO buildup:

  • Have your heating system checked annually by a qualified heating and air conditioning technician.
  • Follow manufacturers' operating instructions properly for gas heating equipment.
  • Do not use stovetop burners or ovens to heat a room since they are not designed for this use.
  • Make sure to follow the blue flame rule. Natural gas flames should burn blue except natural gas fireplace logs which burn orange to have a more realistic wood burning look.
  • Crack windows slightly if using unvented space heaters.
  • Consider buying a CO detector as another line of defense against CO poisoning. CenterPoint Energy recommends buying one with an audible alarm and continuous digital display; make sure it is tested to the national standard for residential CO detectors (UL2034 or IAS NO. 6-96).

 If you are in a room with operating gas equipment and experience a headache, followed by dizziness and nausea, you may be experiencing CO poisoning. Get fresh air immediately, and call CenterPoint Energy. For more information on natural gas safety, visit CenterPointEnergy.com/Safety.

CenterPoint Energy joins the Global #GivingTuesday Movement

​​HOUSTON, TX – November 29, 2016 – CenterPoint Energy has joined #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving that harnesses the power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide. Today, more than 800 gifts will be collected for the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree Program in advance of the Christmas holiday in the company’s Houston region, and approximately 350 gifts are expected to be collected in Minnesota next week.

Since 1889, the Salvation Army has provided Christmas assistance to disadvantaged families and individuals to ensure that they have a wonderful holiday season. CenterPoint Energy has been a long-time supporter of the program, collecting more than 4,200 donations over the past seven years, helping to provide a merry Christmas for more than 4,000 families in the Greater Houston area. 
 
“We are so excited to once again participate in the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree Program,” said Diane Englet, senior director of Community Relations for CenterPoint Energy. “This cause brings so much joy and excitement to our employees. Every year they look forward to receiving their Angel Tree tags and have continued to increase the number they request. It truly is a heartwarming sight to see the smiles on their faces as they bring in their gifts on collection day!”

Because of the generosity of employees throughout CenterPoint Energy’s service territory, countless other organizations have received financial and volunteer support over the years. Last year, CenterPoint Energy partnered with local blood drives to donate a total of 4,830 pints of blood, which is the equivalent of saving more than 14,000 lives.  

“With more than 203,000 hours of volunteer service provided by employees in 2015, valued by the Independent Sector at $4.7 million, CenterPoint Energy has been able to offer support for organizations that do so much for so many, throughout the company’s service territory,” added Englet.  

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

About #GivingTuesday

#GivingTuesday is a movement to celebrate and provide incentives to give—the 2016 iteration will be held on November 29, 2016. This effort harnesses the collective power of a unique blend of partners—nonprofits, businesses and corporations as well as families and individuals—to transform how people think about, talk about and participate in the giving season. #GivingTuesday inspires people to take collaborative action to improve their local communities, give back in better, smarter ways to the charities and causes they celebrate and help create a better world. #GivingTuesday harnesses the power of social media to create a global moment dedicated to giving around the world. 

​To learn more about #GivingTuesday participants and activities or to join the celebration of giving, please visit:



​View an infographic about CenterPoint Energy's contribution to #GivingTuesday here​.


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 55.4 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 7,800 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. 



CenterPoint Energy files to change natural gas rates for Houston-area customers

​Filing meets the statutory requirement to file a rate case and seeks:

  • Consolidation of rates for Houston and Texas Coast Divisions,
  • Recovery of increased costs of delivering safe, reliable gas service, and
  • ​Establishment of a Safety and System Integrity Rider to recover expenses incurred due to  pipeline safety and integrity regulations 
HOUSTON – November 16, 2016 - CenterPoint Energy today filed with municipal regulatory authorities and the Texas Railroad Commission to change the company’s natural gas distribution rates for Houston-area customers. The company is required by Texas statute to file a rate case for its Houston Division. The effect on individual monthly bills will vary depending on natural gas use. 

“We are proposing to change the base rate portion of the bill not only because of the statutory requirement to file, but also because the cost of distributing natural gas to our customers  has continued to increase since our last standard rate case in 2010,” said Randy Pryor, CenterPoint Energy’s vice president of Gas Operations. “Earning a reasonable return on investment is critical to our ability to continue to operate a safe system and to meet the needs of customers now and in the future.”

The principal reasons CenterPoint Energy is making this filing are to:

  • Meet a statutory requirement to file a rate case,
  • Consolidate its Houston and Texas Coast Divisions to reflect the way the divisions are operationally and geographically aligned and to achieve administrative efficiencies, 
  • Increase rates to address increases in the cost of distributing natural gas to customers and so that the Company may continue investing in safe and reliable infrastructure now and in the future, and 
  • Establish a Safety and System Integrity Rider (SSI) to recover expenses incurred as a result of natural gas pipeline safety and integrity regulations.

 If approved, customers throughout Houston and surrounding areas will have a single set of rate schedules and charges for their natural gas service.  Residential customers within the Houston and Texas Coast Divisions would pay the same fixed monthly charge of $16.75 and the same usage rate of $0.08514 for each hundred cubic feet (Ccf) of gas used. Residential customers throughout Houston and surrounding areas would also pay a uniform rate for the cost of gas which the company passes on to customers with no mark up. 

An average residential bill with usage of 34 Ccf would be approximately $38 per month, excluding taxes.  If approved, the new rates would go into effect in the 2nd quarter of 2017 and generate approximately $31 million in additional revenue on an annual basis.

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 55.4 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 7,800 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 140 years. For more information, visit the Web site 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 filing with municipal regulatory authorities and the Texas Railroad Commission 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.