CenterPoint Energy offers energy efficiency tips for cold weather
Take advantage of energy saving programs and save
2011-01-26T06:00:00Z

MINNEAPOLIS - January 26, 2011 - CenterPoint Energy encourages Minnesota customers to take advantage of its Conservation Improvement Program and take other actions to help save customers energy and money during the winter season.

“At CenterPoint Energy, we are committed to helping our customers lower their energy bills by reducing their overall energy consumption,” said Tal Centers, division regional vice president of Gas Operations.

By following these simple energy savings tips, customers can lower their natural gas bills this winter:

Furnace: A furnace is the largest natural gas consuming appliance, and makes up about 70 percent of your annual natural gas bill.

  • Schedule an annual tune-up by a professional, like Home Service Plus®, to ensure that the heating system and other gas appliances are operating safely and efficiently, and to avoid costly and inconvenient repairs.
  • Lower your thermostat to 68 degrees when you are awake and lower when you are asleep or away from home. By lowering your thermostat 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours a day, you can save up to 10 percent a year on your heating costs. Installing a programmable thermostat can help you automatically control your heat usage.
  • Check and replace your filter according to manufacturer’s specifications. A dirty filter restricts airflow and can increase the operating cost of your furnace by as much as 10 percent. A good reminder is to inspect and clean or change the filter each time you receive your natural gas bill.

Water heater: The water heater is the second-largest gas consuming appliance making up about 25 percent of your annual usage.

  • Set the water heater temperature at 120 degrees and wrap any exposed water heater pipes and install a water heater insulator blanket around the tank. Lowering the temperature to 120 degrees from 140 degrees and insulating your pipes and water heater can save you up to 15 percent on your water heating costs.

Make your home more airtight and keep cold air outside:

  • Seal leaks around doors, windows and other openings such as pipes or ducts, with caulk or weather-stripping.
  • The most common places where air escapes in homes are floors, walls, ceilings, air ducts, fireplaces, plumbing penetrations, doors, windows, canister lighting, fans, vents, and electrical outlets.
  • If it has been a while, consider contacting a licensed contractor to seal air leaks and add more insulation in your attic.
  • On sunny days, open draperies and blinds to let in the sun’s warmth. Close them at night to insulate against the cold air outside.

Get rebates for installation of energy saving equipment:

  • Heating System Rebates: The high-efficiency heating rebate program provides rebates of up to $500 to customers who upgrade or replace their furnace or boiler to a high-efficiency model.
  • Water Heater Rebates: Rebates of up to $200 are available to customers who install a qualifying high efficiency natural gas tank water heater or an indirect water heater installed with a condensing boiler.
  • Natural gas fireplace rebate: Save energy when you install a direct-vent natural gas fireplace, insert or free-standing stove with electronic ignition and get a $75 rebate for a qualifying model.
  • Air Sealing and Insulation Rebates: This rebate is available to customers who qualify based on receiving a recommendation from a certified auditor, such as those available through CenterPoint Energy.
  • Business Rebates: CenterPoint Energy is also offers energy efficiency incentives for businesses - the higher the efficiency of the equipment - the higher the rebate, as well as other energy saving programs. To learn more, visit www.centerpointenergy.com/saveenergy.

Schedule a low-cost energy audit:

Install low flow showerheads and faucet aerators:

  • CenterPoint Energy residential customers are eligible to receive up to 3 free low-flow showerheads and up to 3 free kitchen or bath faucet aerators. Using a single low flow showerhead and faucet aerator can save the average household over 3,000 gallons of water per year, lowering heating costs. To learn more, visit www.centerpointenergy.com/lowflow.

Join CenterPoint Energy’s Budget Plan:

Contact CenterPoint Energy:

Obtain state information on how to stay safe and warm:

  • The Stay Warm Minnesota campaign was launched to help every Minnesota family experience a safe and comfortable winter. Visit www.staywarm.mn.gov for useful information regarding energy efficiency and heating assistance programs provided by the federal and state government, private industry, non-profits and energy utilities.

CenterPoint Energy, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission and 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 more than $19 billion. With about 8,800 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 135 years. In Minnesota, CenterPoint Energy is the state’s largest natural gas distribution utility, serving about 800,000 customers in 260 communities. The utility also operates a non-regulated business in Minnesota called Home Service Plus®. For more information, visit CenterPointEnergy.com.

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For updates, follow CenterPoint Energy on Twitter: @CNPAlerts and Facebook: Facebook.com/CenterPointEnergy.

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“We will then work to ensure that the natural gas distribution lines are clear of air. Once the lines are clear, our qualified service technicians will begin performing a series of safety checks to ensure there is no risk involved in restoring gas service,” Maxwell added. “To perform these inspections, CenterPoint Energy service technicians will need to enter each home or business. We have also brought in technicians from other parts of the state, as well as support from Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Mississippi, to assist in restoring gas service.
 
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For updates, follow CenterPoint Energy on Twitter: @CNPAlerts and Facebook.

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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 annualized dividends per share, future earnings and cash flow, projected dividend record and payment dates, 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.

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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. The utility also operates a non-regulated business in Minnesota called Home Service Plus®. For more information, visit the website at CenterPointEnergy.com.