CenterPoint Energy recognizes November 16 as Utilities United Against Scams Day
2016-11-16T06:00:00Z

Houston, TX - November 16, 2016 – CenterPoint Energy is proud to join fellow utilities in the gas and electric sectors to observe Utilities United Against Scams Day (UUASD) on Wednesday, November 16, and raise awareness about utility scams throughout the week. 

Most utility scams involve criminals posing as electric, gas or water provider employees - either in person or over the phone or internet - demanding immediate payment via cash or reloadable debit cards, supposedly in order to prevent service disconnection. These criminals can be very convincing and often target those who are most vulnerable, including the elderly and non-native English speakers. However, with the right information customers can learn to avoid and report these scams. 

CenterPoint Energy employees will never contact customers and threaten them with service disconnection. Any individual posing as a CenterPoint Energy employee who will not direct a customer to the Interactive Voice Response system or to our website to collect payment information, should be considered suspicious and reported to CenterPoint Energy and local authorities.

Customers who believe they have been targeted by utility scammers should follow these tips:

  • ​Hang up the phone or close the door and call your utility company’s verified direct phone number.  If you are in the Houston area and the scam is about your electric service, you can find this number on your Retail Electric Provider’s website or on your electric utility bill. If related to your gas service, you can find the appropriate contact information on your CenterPoint Energy natural gas bill, or by visiting CenterPointEnergy.com. Do not give the caller or visitor a prepaid card, such as a Green Dot card, a wire transfer or any other form of payment that may be difficult to trace. 
  • ​Ignore suspicious requests for personal information such as bank account numbers, user names and passwords, credit card numbers or Social Security numbers.
  • Delete any emails from utilities that are not your service provider or that require immediate action to provide or verify personal information.
  • ​Contact your local police through the non-emergency telephone number, or your state attorney general’s office, or contact the FTC: https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/

UUASD is a collaborative effort among the electric, gas and water utility industries to help prevent utility service fraud through education, awareness and customer advocacy initiatives. A primary goal of this collective effort is to help customers learn how to identify and avoid utility-related scams.

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 CenterPointEnergy.com.


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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

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

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.

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.

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.