CenterPoint Energy Reports Third Quarter 2011 Earnings
2011-11-02T05:00:00Z

Houston, TX – November 2, 2011CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (NYSE: CNP) today reported net income of $973 million, or $2.27 per diluted share, for the third quarter of 2011 compared to $123 million, or $0.29 per diluted share, for the same period of 2010. The third quarter of 2011 includes net income of $811 million, or $1.89 per diluted share, reflecting the final resolution of the appeals of the 2004 true-up order of the Texas Public Utility Commission (Texas PUC) issued in connection with the restructuring of the Texas electric industry. Excluding this amount, net income would have been $162 million, or $0.38 per diluted share, for the third quarter of 2011 compared to $123 million, or $0.29 per diluted share, for the same period of 2010.

Operating income for the third quarter of 2011 was $357 million compared to $327 million for the same period of 2010.

“This was a significant quarter for our company,” said David M. McClanahan, president and chief executive officer of CenterPoint Energy. “We resolved the long-standing proceeding arising from the restructuring of the electric industry in Texas.  As a result, we expect to issue an additional $1.695 billion in transition bonds later this year or early next year, and have booked $811 million in net income this year and will recognize another $258 million over time. Operationally, our regulated electric and natural gas utilities reported solid results and our field services unit continued to realize growth from the investments we made in the Haynesville and Fayetteville shales. We continue to look for opportunities to invest across our portfolio of electric and natural gas businesses and build value for our shareholders.”

For the nine months ended September 30, 2011, net income was $1.24 billion, or $2.89 per diluted share, compared to $318 million, or $0.78 per diluted share, for the same period of 2010. Excluding the effects of the resolution of the true-up proceeding described above, net income would have been $429 million, or $1.00 per diluted share, for the nine months ended September 30, 2011, compared to $318 million, or $0.78 per diluted share, for the same period of 2010.

Operating income for the nine months ended September 30, 2011, was $1.024 billion compared to $947 million for the same period of 2010.

Electric Transmission & Distribution

The electric transmission & distribution segment reported operating income of $244 million for the third quarter of 2011, consisting of $213 million from the regulated electric transmission & distribution utility operations (TDU) and $31 million related to securitization bonds. Operating income for the third quarter of 2010 was $212 million, consisting of $178 million from the TDU and $34 million related to securitization bonds. Operating income for the TDU benefited from increased usage primarily due to warmer weather, growth of over 35,000 metered customers since September 2010 and lower depreciation and amortization expense.  These gains were partially offset by higher operation and maintenance expenses primarily related to increased labor, benefits and transmission expenses.

Operating income for the nine months ended September 30, 2011, was $530 million, consisting of $434 million from the TDU and $96 million related to securitization bonds. Operating income for the same period of 2010 was $477 million, consisting of $371 million from the TDU and $106 million related to securitization bonds.

Natural Gas Distribution

The natural gas distribution segment reported an operating loss of $2 million for the third quarter of 2011 compared to a loss of $4 million for the same period of 2010. The operating loss improved due to lower operation and maintenance expenses, primarily reduced bad debt expenses. Due to seasonal impacts, this segment typically reports a loss in the third quarter.   

Operating income for the nine months ended September 30, 2011, was $153 million compared to $145 million for the same period of 2010.

Interstate Pipelines 

The interstate pipelines segment reported operating income of $60 million for the third quarter of 2011 compared to $68 million for the same period of 2010. The decline was due to lower revenues primarily related to an expired backhaul contract, restructured contracts with our natural gas distribution affiliates and lower off-system sales. These declines were partially offset by increased ancillary services and lower operation and maintenance expenses.

In addition to operating income, this segment recorded equity income of $6 million for the third quarter of 2011 from its 50 percent interest in the Southeast Supply Header (SESH) compared to $8 million for the same period of 2010.

Operating income for the nine months ended September 30, 2011, was $196 million compared to $207 million for the same period of 2010. In addition to operating income, this segment recorded equity income of $15 million for each of the nine months ended September 30, 2011, and 2010 from its 50 percent interest in SESH.  

Field Services
 
The field services segment reported operating income of $61 million for the third quarter of 2011 compared to $40 million for the same period of 2010. Operating income benefited from higher gathering volumes in the Haynesville and Fayetteville shales, revenues attributable to throughput volume commitments and lower operation and maintenance expenses.  These gains were partially offset by lower prices received from sales of retained gas and higher depreciation and amortization expenses primarily related to facility expansions.

In addition to operating income, this business had equity income of $2 million for the third quarter of 2011 from its 50 percent interest in a gathering and processing joint venture (Waskom) compared to $3 million for the same period of 2010. 

Operating income for the nine months ended September 30, 2011, was $136 million compared to $94 million for the same period of 2010. Equity income from Waskom was $7 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2011, compared to $8 million for the same period of 2010.

Competitive Natural Gas Sales and Services

The competitive natural gas sales and services segment reported an operating loss of $10 million for the third quarter of 2011 compared to operating income of $7 million for the same period of 2010.  The third quarter of 2011 included gains of $6 million resulting from mark-to-market accounting for derivatives associated with certain forward natural gas purchases and sales used to lock in economic margins compared to gains of $19 million for the same period of 2010. The third quarter of 2011 also included a $7 million write-down of natural gas inventory to the lower of average cost or market compared to a $6 million write-down in the same period of 2010. Basis spreads on pipeline transportation opportunities remain depressed and continue to negatively impact this segment’s results.

Operating income for the nine months ended September 30, 2011, was $3 million compared to $16 million for the same period of 2010. Operating income for the nine months ended September 30, 2011, included gains of $8 million resulting from mark-to-market accounting compared to gains of $14 million for the same period of 2010. The nine months ended September 30, 2011, included a $7 million write-down of natural gas inventory compared to a $6 million write-down in the same period of 2010.

Resolution of True-up Remand Proceeding

On October 13, 2011, the Texas PUC approved a final order resolving all issues raised in connection with the Texas Supreme Court’s remand of the Texas PUC’s 2004 true-up order.  Pursuant to the final order, the company is entitled to recover an additional true-up balance of $1.695 billion, less certain expenses. On October 27, 2011, the Texas PUC approved a financing order that authorizes the company to issue transition bonds to securitize the approved true-up amounts. In the third quarter of 2011, the company recorded net income of $811 million related to the true-up remand.  An additional $258 million in net income will be recognized over the life of the transition bonds.

Dividend Declaration

On October 26, 2011, CenterPoint Energy’s board of directors declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.1975 per share of common stock payable on December 9, 2011, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on November 16, 2011. 

Outlook for 2011

Excluding the effects of the resolution of the true-up proceeding, CenterPoint Energy expects its 2011 earnings to be at the high end of its guidance range of $1.04 to $1.14 per diluted share. This guidance takes into consideration performance to date and various economic and operational assumptions related to the business segments in which the company operates. The company has made certain assumptions regarding financing activities and the impact to earnings of various regulatory proceedings. In providing this guidance, the company has not included the impact of any changes in accounting standards, any impact from significant acquisitions or divestitures, any impact to income from the change in value of Time Warner stocks and the related ZENS securities, or the timing effects of mark-to-market and inventory accounting in the company’s competitive natural gas sales and services business. For the impact of these factors on the company’s earnings for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2011, see the attached reconciliation.

Filing of Form 10-Q for CenterPoint Energy, Inc.

Today, CenterPoint Energy, Inc. filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the period ended September 30, 2011. A copy of that report is available on the company’s website, under the Investors section. Other filings the company makes with the SEC and other documents relating to its corporate governance can also be found on that site.

Webcast of Earnings Conference Call

CenterPoint Energy’s management will host an earnings conference call on Wednesday, November 2, 2011, at 10:30 a.m. Central time or 11:30 a.m. Eastern time. Interested parties may listen to a live audio broadcast of the conference call on the company’s website, under the Investors section. A replay of the call can be accessed approximately two hours after the completion of the call and will be archived on the website for at least one year.

CenterPoint Energy, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission & distribution, natural gas distribution, competitive natural gas sales and services, interstate pipelines, and field services operations. The company serves more than five million metered customers primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas. Assets total nearly $21 billion. With over 8,800 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 135 years. For more information, visit the company’s website at CenterPointEnergy.com.

This news release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual events and results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements.  The statements in this news release regarding the company’s earnings outlook for 2011 and future financial performance and results of operations, the anticipated issuance of transition bonds to recover the amount authorized in the true-up remand proceeding, 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) state and federal legislative and regulatory actions or developments affecting various aspects of CenterPoint Energy’s businesses, including, among others, energy deregulation or re-regulation, pipeline safety, health care reform, financial reform and tax legislation; (2) state and federal legislative and regulatory actions or developments relating to the environment, including those related to global climate change; (3) timely and appropriate rate actions and increases, allowing recovery of costs and a reasonable return on investment; (4) factors that may impact the timing and completion of the contemplated transition bond offering, including actions by the Texas PUC, any appeals of the financing order issued by the Texas PUC and future market conditions; (5) the timing and outcome of any audits, disputes or other proceedings related to taxes; (6) problems with construction, implementation of necessary technology or other issues with respect to major capital projects that result in delays or in cost overruns that cannot be recouped in rates; (7) industrial, commercial and residential growth in CenterPoint Energy’s service territories and changes in market demand, including the effects of energy efficiency measures, and demographic patterns; (8) the timing and extent of changes in commodity prices, particularly natural gas and natural gas liquids, and the effects of geographic and seasonal commodity price differentials, including the effects on re-contracting available capacity on CenterPoint Energy’s interstate pipelines; (9) the timing and extent of changes in the supply of natural gas, including supplies available for gathering by CenterPoint Energy’s field services business and transporting by its interstate pipelines; (10) weather variations and other natural phenomena; (11) the direct or indirect effects on CenterPoint Energy’s facilities, operations and financial condition resulting from terrorism, cyber attacks, data security breaches or other attempts to disrupt its businesses or the businesses of third parties, or other catastrophic events; (12) the impact of unplanned facility outages; (13) timely and appropriate regulatory actions allowing securitization or other recovery of costs associated with any future hurricanes or natural disasters; (14) changes in interest rates or rates of inflation; (15) commercial bank and financial market conditions, CenterPoint Energy’s access to capital, the cost of such capital, and the results of our financing and refinancing efforts, including availability of funds in the debt capital markets; (16) actions by rating agencies; (17) effectiveness of CenterPoint Energy’s risk management activities; (18) inability of various counterparties to meet their obligations; (19) non-payment for services due to financial distress of CenterPoint Energy’s customers; (20) the ability of GenOn Energy, Inc. (formerly known as RRI Energy, Inc.) and its subsidiaries to satisfy their obligations to CenterPoint Energy and its subsidiaries; (21) the ability of retail electric providers, and particularly the two largest customers of the TDU, to satisfy their obligations to CenterPoint Energy and its subsidiaries; (22) the outcome of litigation brought by or against CenterPoint Energy; (23) CenterPoint Energy’s ability to control costs; (24) the investment performance of pension and postretirement benefit plans; (25) potential business strategies, including restructurings, acquisitions or dispositions of assets or businesses; (26) acquisition and merger activities; and (27) other factors discussed in CenterPoint Energy’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2010, and Forms 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 2011, June 30, 2011, and September 30, 2011, and other reports CenterPoint Energy or its subsidiaries may file from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

CenterPoint Energy, Inc. and Subsidiaries
Reconciliation of reported Net Income and diluted EPS to the basis used in providing 2011 annual earnings guidance
Quarter Ended
 
Nine Months Ended
September 30, 2011
 
September 30, 2011
Net Income
EPS
 
Net Income
 
EPS 
(in millions)(in millions)
As reported $ 973 $ 2.27 $ 1,240 $ 2.89 
True-up related items:
Debt component return, net of taxes(224)(0.52) (224) (0.52)
Extraordinary item, net of taxes(587)(1.37) (587) (1.37)
Excluding true-up related items
$ 162
$ 0.38
$ 429
$ 1.00
       
Timing effects impacting CES(1):      
Mark-to-market (gains) losses - natural gas derivative contracts(4)(0.01) (5) (0.01)
Natural gas inventory write-downs40.01 4 0.01
ZENS-related mark-to-market (gains) losses:      
Marketable securities(2) 520.12 19 0.05
Indexed debt securities(57)(0.13) (42) (0.10)
Per the basis used in providing 2011 annual earnings guidance$ 157$ 0.37 $ 405 $ 0.95
(1) Competitive natural gas sales and services
(2) Time Warner Inc., Time Warner Cable Inc. and AOL Inc.
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CenterPoint Energy declares $0.2675 quarterly dividend

Houston – July 27, 2017 - CenterPoint Energy, Inc.'s. (NYSE: CNP) board of directors today declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.2675 per share of common stock payable on Sept. 8, 2017, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on Aug. 16, 2017.

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 54.1 percent of the common and subordinated units representing limited partner interests 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 150 years. For more information, go to www.CenterPointEnergy.com.

CenterPoint Energy Provides Natural Gas Safety Tips to Help Keep Customers Safe in Severe Weather

MINNEAPOLIS – July 17, 2017 – While summer conditions are here for Minnesotans, the threat of severe weather can occur at a moment's notice. To help keep customers safe, CenterPoint Energy is sharing its natural gas safety tips. CenterPoint Energy customers should remember the following important information in the event of severe weather conditions:

  • Following a severe storm, be alert for leaking natural gas. If you smell, hear or see a natural gas leak, leave the area immediately on foot and tell others to do the same. Natural gas smells like rotten eggs;
  • Do not drive into or near a natural gas leak or a vapor cloud;
  • Once safely away from the area, call 911 immediately. Then call the pipeline operator to report the location and a description of the leak. CenterPoint Energy's emergency natural gas leak hotline is 1-800-296-9815. After receiving a call, CenterPoint Energy will promptly dispatch a trained service technician;  
  • If natural gas is leaking, do not switch lights on or off, smoke, strike a match, use a cell phone, drive a car, or operate anything that may cause a spark, including a flashlight or generator;
  • Do not attempt to turn off your natural gas service at the meter. Meters maintain proper line pressure and prevent water from entering pipes if flooding occurs. Improper operation of natural gas valves could make the situation worse;
  • To turn off natural gas service inside your house, turn the natural gas valve off at each appliance;
  • If your home was flooded, call a licensed plumber or natural gas appliance technician to inspect your appliances and natural gas piping to make sure they are in good operating condition before calling CenterPoint Energy to reconnect service. This includes outdoor natural gas appliances, such as pool heaters, natural gas grills and natural gas lights; and
  • Before cleaning up debris, or possibly excavating near underground natural gas lines and other utility lines, call 811 – the national Call Before You Dig number – to ensure underground utilities are properly located and marked.

 

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 54.1 percent of the common and subordinated units representing limited partner interests 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 150 years. In Minnesota, CenterPoint Energy is the state's largest natural gas distribution utility, serving about 840,000 customers in 260 communities. The utility also operates a non-regulated business in Minnesota called Home Service Plus®. For more information, visit CenterPointEnergy.com.

 

CenterPoint Energy named a 2017 Most Trusted Brand

HOUSTON – July 13, 2017 – CenterPoint Energy earned a 2017 "Most Trusted Brand" designation, making it one of the nation's most trusted utilities according to a new Cogent Reports™ study by Market Strategies International. The Utility Trusted Brand and Customer Engagement: Residential study, now in its fourth year, benchmarks brand performance of 130 electric and natural gas utilities on a quarterly basis among 59,823 utility consumers.  The study measures Brand Trust through scoring six factors among residential customers – customer focus, company reputation and advocacy, community support, communications effectiveness, environmental dedication and reliable quality.

"We have made substantial investments over the last several years to enhance the safety and reliability of our natural gas system and to improve our service to customers," said Gregory E. Knight, senior vice president and chief customer officer for CenterPoint Energy. "We believe being named a 'most trusted brand' clearly demonstrates that customers value and appreciate these efforts."

This year, the utilities designated by Cogent as 2017 Most Trusted Brands score 40 points higher on brand trust than their industry peers and are more likely to receive positive sentiments from their customers in the study.  The annual study highlights a statistical relationship between brand trust and rate case support, and shows customers expect utilities to expand support for new offerings and community outreach as a result of rate increases. Additionally, customers who trust their utility are twice as likely to recommend those alternative energy products to other customers.

 

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 urges customers to be prepared for potential flooding and issues important electric and natural gas safety tips

HOUSTON – June 21, 2017 – CenterPoint Energy has been closely monitoring and preparing for Tropical Storm Cindy, which is anticipated to make landfall later today. The company urges customers to follow important pre-and post-storm electric and natural gas safety tips.

Electric

  • Stay away from downed power lines. Be especially mindful of downed lines that could be hidden in flood waters and treat all downed lines as if they are energized. 
  • If you experience flooding and water has risen above the electrical outlets in your home, contact a licensed electrician before turning on the main circuit breaker or trying to restore power. 
  • All electrical appliances and electronic equipment that have been submerged in water need to dry thoroughly for at least one week. Then, have them checked by a qualified repair person before turning them on. Attempting to repair a flood-damaged appliance could result in electrical shock or death. Attempting to restart it could result in further damage and costly repairs.
  • If the outside unit of an air conditioning system has been under water, mud and water may have accumulated in the controls. Have the unit checked by a qualified air conditioning technician.

Natural Gas

  • Do not turn off your natural gas service at the meter; doing so could allow water to enter the natural gas lines.
  • Be alert for the smell of natural gas. If you smell gas, leave the area immediately and tell others to leave, too.
  • If you smell gas, do not turn the lights on or off, smoke, strike a match, use a cell phone or operate anything that might cause a spark, including a flashlight or a generator.
  • Do not attempt to turn natural gas valves on or off. Once safely away from the area, call 888-876-5786 and CenterPoint Energy will send a trained service technician.
  • If your home was flooded, call a licensed plumber or gas appliance technician to inspect your appliances and gas piping to make sure they are in good operating condition before calling CenterPoint Energy to reconnect service. This includes outdoor gas appliances including pool heaters, gas grills and gas lights.
  • Before cleaning debris, digging on your property or to locate underground natural gas lines and other underground utility lines, call 811 - the nationwide Call Before You Dig number.
  • Be aware of where your natural gas meter is located. As debris is put out for heavy trash pickup, make sure it is placed away from the meter. In many areas the meter may be located near the curb. If debris is near a gas meter, the mechanized equipment used by trash collectors could pull up the meter, damaging it and causing a potentially hazardous situation. If this happens, leave the area immediately and call CenterPoint Energy at 888-876-5786.

For the latest information on power outages:

CenterPoint Energy names 2016 Energy Efficiency Achievement Award recipients

MINNEAPOLIS – June 15, 2017 – CenterPoint Energy recently announced the three recipients of the 2016 Conservation Improvement Program (CIP) Energy Efficiency achievement awards at the 2017 Energy Efficiency and Technology Conference: Customer of the Year; Trade Ally of the Year; and Most Innovative Project of the year.

"We congratulate our winners and are confident that our Conservation Improvement Programs make it easier than ever for customers to become more energy efficient and save money on their monthly energy bills," said Brad Tutunjian, vice president of Gas Operations for CenterPoint Energy in Minnesota.  "Taking steps toward becoming energy efficient is good for consumers' wallets and the environment."

CenterPoint Energy's 2016 Energy Efficiency Achievement Awards:

  • 2016 Conservation Improvement Program Customer of the Year: General Mills, Inc.
    General Mills has demonstrated a long-term commitment to energy conservation. The company completed two major conservation improvement program projects in 2016.  This first was a project for custom-fit insulation jackets for 800 different steam fittings, saving 9,344 dekatherms (Dth) per year. General Mills said the technology shows promise for its other commercial and industrial sites.  The second project used CenterPoint Energy's Process Steam Trap Audit program to test 472 traps at General Mills' James Ford Bell Test Lab. The audit showed that 18 of the traps had failed. Replacements saved the company 4,436 Dth per year.
  • 2016 Trade Ally of the Year: State Supply
    In 2016, State Supply played an important role in facilitating and expediting natural gas rebates for their customers. The company's focus on steam trap projects enabled CenterPoint Energy to set new savings records for prescriptive rebates and steam trap repair/replacement rebates.  State Supply's commitment to their customers, as well as to CenterPoint Energy's Conservation Improvement Program, resulted in more than 157,557 Dth of savings. 
  • Most Innovative Project of the Year: Utepils Brewing
    Utepils Brewing is a new micro-brewery located on the west side of Minneapolis. In 2016, the company installed state-of-the-art German brewery technology involving heat recovery and vacuum de-pressurization. This step helped  decrease the energy consumption of the brewing process by 70 percent.

"We would like to take this opportunity to thank those who participated in our CIP programs in 2016 and helped achieve record natural gas savings of just over 2.0 billion cubic feet.  The savings during 2016 were the equivalent to the annual natural gas usage of 22,200 residential homes and the emissions savings were the equivalent to removing 17,800 cars from the road for one year," added Tutunjian.

CenterPoint Energy is committed to energy conservation and has been a leader in delivering Conservation Improvement Programs in Minnesota since 1992.  The company has significantly increased its energy efficiency programs to help residential and business customers lower their energy costs. In addition to foodservice equipment rebates, the company offers rebates for high-efficiency heating systems, water heaters, industrial process equipment and custom projects for commercial and industrial businesses.

To learn more about how to get started saving money and being more energy efficient today, visit CenterPointEnergy.com/SaveEnergy.

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 54.1 percent of the common and subordinated units representing limited partner interests 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 150 years. In Minnesota, CenterPoint Energy is the state's largest natural gas distribution utility, serving about 840,000 customers in 260 communities. The utility also operates a non-regulated business in Minnesota called Home Service Plus®. For more information, visit CenterPointEnergy.com.