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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Natural gas service restoration in Paragould, Ark.

HOUSTON – December 2, 2016 – Following a natural gas outage affecting more than 400 customers on the east side of Paragould, Ark., CenterPoint Energy has restored service to all customers who have provided the company access to perform safety checks and relight pilots.  

Customers have been without gas service because of a disruption in the natural gas supply that occurred Thursday afternoon.

"We greatly appreciate our customers' cooperation and patience as our employees worked as quickly as we could to safely restore natural gas service," said Terry Rollins, district director for CenterPoint Energy.

A small number of customers still remain without service because CenterPoint Energy employees were not able to access their home or business. 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.

"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," Rollins said. "Please call the number on the door tag left by our service personnel."

 

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.