Smart meter data helps Houstonian cut electric use
Winner of Biggest Energy Saversm contest earns Chevy Volt for managing energy use
2011-12-14T10:45:00Z

HOUSTON – December 14, 2011 – With the help of data from his smart meter, local resident Mike Butler cut his electricity use by 36 percent this summer to become the Houston-area’s Biggest Energy Saver.

During the two-month Biggest Energy Saver consumer skill contest, registered participants competed by using smart meter data to reduce their electricity consumption and demonstrate how those reductions can be sustained over time.

“As Texas made history this summer with record-breaking heat, Mike and our other winners significantly reduced their energy consumption,” said Kenny Mercado, CenterPoint Energy senior vice president responsible for smart grid technology. “Their efforts demonstrate how using smart meters and performing simple, energy-saving measures can make an impact.”

The Houston-area grand prize winner used an in-home energy monitor and the Smart Meter Texas Portal to track his overall electric usage, helping him manage the use of certain appliances and his air conditioning system. The portal shows consumers their electricity use in 15-minute intervals to help them manage their consumption.

“My wife and I made simple behavioral changes to win the contest,” said Butler. “In addition to learning how to program our air conditioner’s thermostat so it will turn up when we weren’t home, I identified power hogs like leaving my laptops charging all the time or keeping them on sleep mode. I enlisted our apartment complex management to tune up our air conditioner and replace door and window seals and I checked my statistics weekly on SmartMeterTexas.com to verify the impact of these efforts.”

On behalf of contest sponsor Grid 21, CenterPoint Energy’s electric business presented Butler with a 2011 Chevy Volt, a plug-in electric hybrid vehicle. The company is also presenting a full kitchen suite of GE Profile smart appliances to the competition’s first prize winner, a GE Profile front load washer/electric dryer pair to the second prize winner and GE In-Home Network suites to five third prize winners.

 

 CategoryName and LocationPrize
 Grand PrizeMike Butler
Houston, Texas
2011 GM Volt electric vehicle
 First Prize
Sally Andrews
Houston, Texas
Suite of GE Profile Appliances
 Second Prize Phillip Newsum
 Humble, Texas 
GE Energy-Star Front Load Home Laundry pair 

Biggest Energy Saver campaign results included:

• The top 10 percent of contest entrants in the CenterPoint Energy service area saved, on average, 20.7 percent of electric power compared to same time period in 2010.
• The campaign, which was the largest of its kind in the U.S., prompted 6,126 Texas residents in the CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric and Oncor service areas to register their smart meters with the Smart Meter Texas Portal, almost three times as many as during the same period last year
• Nearly 30,000 people visited the BiggestEnergySaver.com website and blog to learn about smart meters and get energy efficiency tips.
• Overall, the top 10 percent of Houston-area contest participants saved more than 12,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity during August and September.

Sixteen finalists were selected from the CenterPoint Energy electric service territory based on the greatest percentage decrease in electricity usage from August 1, 2011, through September 30, 2011, and a comparable time period in 2010. Finalists provided a short summary of the steps and tools they used to achieve their energy savings. Finalist summaries were judged by an independent panel of energy experts based on criteria like sustainability and ease of duplication by others of their stated electricity saving measures.

The Biggest Energy Saver campaign was designed to showcase the power of smart meter data. The Biggest Energy Saver campaign’s contests and giveaways are sponsored by Grid 21, a non-profit organization committed to engaging electricity consumers in using a new generation of tools and technologies to better manage their electricity consumption. CenterPoint Energy; along with Oncor, a north Texas electric utility; technology partners Itron and Landis+Gyr; collaborator IBM; and prize sponsors GE and Tendril all helped create the inaugural Biggest Energy Saver campaign. Energy efficiency tips and other helpful information will remain on BiggestEnergySaver.com throughout the year.

CenterPoint Energy is a leader in the deployment of smart meters and intelligent grid technology. The company began deploying smart meters in 2009 and accelerated the deployment after receiving a $200 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. A portion of the grant is also funding the implementation of intelligent grid technology in central Houston, which will be completed by year-end 2013 to improve power reliability for more than 500,000 consumers.

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 about 8,800 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 135 years. For more information, visit the website at www.CenterPointEnergy.com.

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CenterPoint Energy awards grants to communities for safety initiatives

MINNEAPOLIS – August 23, 2017 – CenterPoint Energy’s Community Partnership Grant Program awards grants to local communities to fund safety-related equipment and projects. The company recently awarded the City of Jordan a $2,300 grant for a pole mounted solar powered electric speed sign that will be used to serve the community.

“Safety is one of CenterPoint Energy’s core values. Through the Community Partnership Grant program CenterPoint Energy has partnered with communities supporting our shared commitment to safety while delivering a safe, reliable natural gas service for over 150 years. Over the past 14 years, CenterPoint Energy has contributed $1.5 million toward safety initiatives in our communities,” said Jean Krause, Community Relations Director for CenterPoint Energy. “These grants help us stay connected with our emergency officials and aid them in keeping our neighbors and communities safe. “

To see what CenterPoint Energy is doing in the community, please visit our 2016 Corporate Responsibility Report.

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 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.

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

Houston – Aug. 23, 2017 – CenterPoint Energy has been closely monitoring and preparing for Harvey, which is expected to make landfall Friday afternoon. 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. Instead, turn off the natural gas at each appliance.
  • Be alert for the smell of natural gas. If you smell gas, leave the area immediately on foot 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 awards grants to communities for safety initiatives

MINNEAPOLIS - August 21, 2017 - CenterPoint Energy’s Community Partnership Grant Program awards grants to local communities to fund safety-related equipment and projects.  The company recently awarded several communities grants that will be used to serve the communities. They are listed below:

​Date Given ​City ​Grant Amount Given ​Safety Related Equipment/Project
​8/21/17 ​ ​​Arlington​$2,500​Thermal imaging camera
​Pipestone​$1,025First aid cabinet, vehicle kits and bodily fluid protection
​St. Louis Park​$2,500​Medical grade bike saunas
​Spring Lake$2,500​​800 MHz radios

 

“Safety is one of CenterPoint Energy’s core values. Through the Community Partnership Grant program CenterPoint Energy has partnered with communities supporting our shared commitment to safety while delivering a safe, reliable natural gas service for over 150 years. Over the past 14 years, CenterPoint Energy has contributed $1.5 million toward safety initiatives in our communities,” said Jean Krause, Community Relations Director for CenterPoint Energy. “These grants help us stay connected with our emergency officials and aid them in keeping our neighbors and communities safe. “

To see what CenterPoint Energy is doing in the community, please visit our 2016 Corporate Responsibility Report.

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 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.

CenterPoint Energy awards grants to communities for safety initiatives

MINNEAPOLIS – August 17, 2017 – CenterPoint Energy’s Community Partnership Grant Program awards grants to local communities to fund safety-related equipment and projects. The company recently awarded the City of Bethel a $2,500 grant for a repair on a self-contained breathing apparatus compressor that will be used to serve the community.

“Safety is one of CenterPoint Energy’s core values. Through the Community Partnership Grant program CenterPoint Energy has partnered with communities supporting our shared commitment to safety while delivering a safe, reliable natural gas service for over 150 years. Over the past 14 years, CenterPoint Energy has contributed $1.5 million toward safety initiatives in our communities,” said Jean Krause, Community Relations Director for CenterPoint Energy. “These grants help us stay connected with our emergency officials and aid them in keeping our neighbors and communities safe. “

To see what CenterPoint Energy is doing in the community, please visit our 2016 Corporate Responsibility Report.

 

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 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.

CenterPoint Energy awards grants to communities for safety initiatives

MINNEAPOLIS - August 15, 2017 - CenterPoint Energy’s Community Partnership Grant Program awards grants to local communities to fund safety-related equipment and projects.  The company recently awarded several communities grants that will be used to serve the communities. They are listed below:

​Date Given​City​Grant Amount Given​Safety Related Equipment/Project
​8/15/17 ​ ​​Crystal​$2,500​Mobile police radio
​Long Lake​$2,500​Nomex hoods for firefighters
​Robbinsdale​$2,500​Critical incident response and rescue vehicle

 

“Safety is one of CenterPoint Energy’s core values. Through the Community Partnership Grant program CenterPoint Energy has partnered with communities supporting our shared commitment to safety while delivering a safe, reliable natural gas service for over 150 years. Over the past 14 years, CenterPoint Energy has contributed $1.5 million toward safety initiatives in our communities,” said Jean Krause, Community Relations Director for CenterPoint Energy. “These grants help us stay connected with our emergency officials and aid them in keeping our neighbors and communities safe. “

To see what CenterPoint Energy is doing in the community, please visit our 2016 Corporate Responsibility Report.

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 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.