Grid 21 Partners Search for Biggest Energy Saver
Technology Companies and Utilities launch campaign to spur innovation and empower customers
2011-06-13T05:00:00Z

Technology Companies and Utilities launch campaign to spur innovation and empower customers.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 13, 2011) — Grid 21, a new non-profit organization committed to engaging electricity customers in using a new generation of tools and technologies to better manage their electricity consumption, is partnering with Texas-based utilities Oncor and CenterPoint Energy, as well as San Diego Gas & Electric in California to launch the Biggest Energy Saver CampaignSM.

In addition to Oncor, CenterPoint and San Diego Gas & Electric, founding partners of the campaign are Itron and Landis+Gyr. IBM is a collaborator on the campaign. The campaign is the largest of its kind in the nation and will jumpstart the market for customer-friendly energy-management tools, while demonstrating to customers the benefits made possible by using information from smart meter technology.

The Biggest Energy Saver Campaign will feature a customer-savings contest sponsored by Grid21.  The campaign will also drive the creation and use of customer-friendly tools for managing home energy consumption. By giving customers easy ways to access and utilize the data provided by their smart meters, the Biggest Energy Saver Campaign will help customers make more educated decisions about their energy consumption controlling their energy costs.

One component of the Biggest Energy Saver Campaign is a nationwide call to create applications that will enable customers to better monitor and control their home energy usage. Software application developers will be vying for prizes totaling up to $150,000.

At the first White House Grid Modernization Event held earlier today, emphasis was stressed about bringing products and services to market to transform the way Americans use energy. More than 150 executives gathered to hear this message and address hurdles standing in the way of modernizing the electric grid, which is based largely on 1960’s technology.

In Texas, one grand prize winner from each participating utility’s service area will receive the Grand Prize of a new electric vehicle while the first-place winners will receive a suite of GE smart appliances that are equipped to talk to the smart meter and empower consumers to make smarter, more informed decisions on how they consume energy.

“There have been dozens of pilot programs involving smart meters across the United States, and consistently customers have reduced their energy usage and controlled their costs. Now the time has come to move beyond pilot programs and into full implementation because customers deserve it,” said Steve Hauser, Executive Director of Grid 21. “Customers are the most important component of any business and what electric utility customers are telling us is that they want the ability to better manage their energy consumption and cost. The Biggest Energy Saver will introduce tools and capabilities to customers who can then use them for the contest and in their daily lives.”

In May 2011, San Diego Gas & Electric completed the rollout of smart meters to all its residential customers.  Smart meters are one of the foundational technologies to the nation’s smart grid.   On June 6, the utility filed the first comprehensive smart grid roadmap that outlines the San Diego region’s energy future over the next decade.  The goal of the roadmap is to empower customers with the latest technology and service choices.

In July, a select group of San Diego Gas & Electric customers will receive in-home devices that display data provided by the home’s smart meter. The displays allow customers to track and analyze their home energy usage in real-time, making it easier to monitor their energy-related spending throughout the month – encouraging them to save energy and participate in the contest. 

“Nearly 20 million advanced meters are expected to be installed by the end of 2012 in California and Texas alone,” Hauser said. “The smart meter-enabled home is a huge market that will continue to grow not only in these two states, but across the country.”

With more than 3 million meters installed across Texas, as well as other significant grid investments to improve reliability and grow the nation-leading wind energy portfolio, Texas electric customers will be the largest group of participants in the inaugural Biggest Energy Saver Campaign.

“Texas has always been a global leader in energy and innovation,” said Barry Smitherman, Chairman of the Public Utility Commission of Texas. “We have a robust competitive market and are investing billions of dollars to improve our power grid, supporting cleaner generation and improving reliability. We couldn’t be more proud to have the two largest utilities in Texas with the broadest deployment of advanced meters leading the way through this new 21st century technology.”

The contests will run later this summer. Complete contest rules and registration will be available on the Biggest Energy Saver website at www.BiggestEnergySaver.com beginning mid-July. Until then, the website will serve as an online resource for customers to engage in conversations about smart meters and how to use smart technology to cut back on their electricity consumption, controlling their cost and making a positive impact on the environment. 

***
About Grid 21
Grid 21 is a new non-profit organization, based in Washington, DC and national initiative to engage customers of electricity in using a new generation of tools and technologies to better manage their electricity consumption.  Contact:  Steve Hauser, 303-275-3122

About CenterPoint Energy, Inc.
CenterPoint Energy, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric, LLC, its electric transmission & distribution, subsidiary, as well as 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 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.

Contact Floyd LeBlanc, 713.207.7125

About GE Appliances & Lighting
GE Appliances & Lighting spans the globe as an industry leader in major appliances, lighting, systems and services for commercial, industrial and residential use. Technology innovation and the company's ecomagination(SM) initiative enable GE Appliances & Lighting to aggressively bring to market products and solutions that help customers meet pressing environmental challenges. General Electric (NYSE: GE), imagination at work, sells products under the Monogram®, Profile™, GE®, Hotpoint®, Reveal® and Energy Smart® consumer brands, and Tetra®, Vio™ and Immersion® commercial brands. For more information, consumers may visit www.ge.com Contact: Kimberly Freeman, 502-452-7819

About IBM
IBM is a trademark of IBM Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. All other company/product names and service marks may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies. UNIX is a registered trademark in the United States and other countries licensed exclusively through The Open Group.  Contact: Fabienne Guildhary, 917-472-3733

About Itron
At Itron, we're dedicated to delivering end-to-end smart grid and smart distribution solutions to electric, gas and water utilities around the globe. Our company is the world's leading provider of smart metering, data collection and utility software systems, with nearly 8,000 utilities worldwide relying on our technology to optimize the delivery and use of energy and water. Our offerings include electricity, gas, water and heat meters; network communication technology; collection systems and related software applications; and professional services. To realize your smarter energy and water future, start here: www.itron.com.  Contact: Sharelynn Moore, 509-891-3524

About Landis+Gyr
Privately held Landis+Gyr is the leading global provider of integrated energy management products tailored to energy company needs and unique in its ability to deliver true end-to-end advanced metering solutions. Landis+Gyr operates in more than 30 countries across five continents, and employs over 5,000 people with the sole mission of helping the world manage energy better. For more information please visit www.landisgyr.com.  Contact: Thor Valdmanis, 212-850-5696

About Oncor
Oncor Electric Delivery Company LLC “Oncor” is a regulated electricity distribution and transmission business that uses superior asset management skills to provide reliable electricity delivery to customers. Oncor operates the largest distribution and transmission system in Texas, delivering power to approximately 3 million homes and businesses and operating approximately 118,000 miles of transmission and distribution lines in Texas. While Oncor is owned by a limited number of investors (including majority owner, Energy Future Holdings Corp.), Oncor is managed by its Board of Directors, which is comprised of a majority of independent directors. Contact:  Chris Schein, 877-426-1616

About San Diego Gas & Electric
San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) is a regulated public utility that provides safe and reliable energy service to 3.5 million consumers through 1.4 million electric meters and more than 850,000 natural gas meters in San Diego and southern Orange counties.  The utility’s area spans 4,100 square miles.  SDG&E is committed to creating ways to help our customers save energy and money every day.  SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego. Contact: April Bolduc, 877-866-2066

About Tendril
Tendril is the Energy Platform company, delivering end-to-end consumer engagement products, applications and services powered by Tendril Connect™—an open, secure and scalable platform that takes the complexity out of the Energy Internet and creates a dialogue between energy service providers and their customers. Delivering consumer engagement software, in-home products and applications as well as easy to integrate utility solutions such as Demand Response and Energy Efficiency, Tendril offers unparalleled insight into energy decisions, making the Energy Marketplace a reality. The company is venture backed by VantagePoint Venture Partners, Good Energies, RRE Ventures and GE. For more information, visit   www.tendrilinc.com   Contact: Sheila O’Neill, 303-324-7310

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CenterPoint Energy urges customers to stay safe during clean-up

HOUSTON - September 1, 2017 – The safety of our employees and our customers is our top priority. We urge customers to follow the below safety tips as clean-up efforts continue following Hurricane Harvey.

ELECTRIC SAFETY TIPS

Stay away from downed power lines. Be especially mindful of downed lines that could be hidden in flood waters and debris, and treat all downed lines as if they are energized or “live.” Boats being used in high water can expose you to danger from power lines at their normal height. Be aware and stay away. DO NOT attempt to remove a tree limb or other debris from a power line. Once away from the area, call 713-207-2222 and we will respond as soon as it is safe.

Power restoration

• If you find that water has risen above your electrical outlets, you must call a licensed electrician before you turn on the main circuit breaker or turn on the power for any connected appliances, such as televisions, computers and more.

• Your electrician will assess the damage and will then need to ensure that your home’s electrical system is safe to receive power.

• Your electrician may need to either call CenterPoint Energy or direct you to call us at 713-207-2222 to ensure that it is safe to perform electrical work. CenterPoint Energy may temporarily disconnect service to your home to allow work to be performed.

• Even if you or your electrician calls and asks us to remotely disconnect service, there still could be voltage present. Therefore, we will ask the electrician and you to confirm you want us to proceed before going forward, and will remind you to take precautions around your breakers.

• CenterPoint Energy is responsible for and will make repairs to the electric delivery system up to where it connects to your home or business. However, you are responsible for repairs if there is damage to the meter box or weatherhead (where the line enters your home through a pipe).

• If the meter box or weatherhead is damaged, our crews will not be able to re-establish service. If in doubt, contact a licensed electrician now to make an inspection and any necessary repairs.

Appliance and equipment safety

• All electrical appliances and electronic equipment that have been submerged in water must be dried thoroughly for at least one week. Then, you should have them checked by a qualified repair professional before turning them on.

• Do not try to repair a flood-damaged appliance as it could result in electrical shock or death. Attempting to restart it could result in further damage and costly repairs. Page 2 of 2 For more information contact Olivia Ross 713.207.3288 24-hour media access 713.619.5143 For Immediate Release

• If the outside unit of your air conditioning system has been under water, the controls may have mud and water accumulated in them. Have the unit inspected by a qualified air conditioning technician before using it.

• Never connect a portable electric generator or a motor home/RV generator directly to your home’s electrical system during a power outage. Electricity could back feed into the power lines and endanger repair workers.

Call 811 before any digging is started – it’s the law. Striking buried utility lines can cause serious injury or death. Alert participating utility companies, such as electric, gas, cable and phone about planned digging so they can mark the appropriate location of their underground lines. Please be prepared for a longer than usual wait time during the next few weeks, and do not dig until the lines have been marked.

NATURAL GAS SAFETY TIPS

• 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 - It smells like rotten eggs. If you do smell natural gas, leave the area immediately on foot and tell others to leave, too.

• Do NOT turn on your lights, 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 you are safely away from the area, call 911 and 888-876-5786. Once it is safe, 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.

Call 811 before any digging is started – it’s the law. Striking buried utility lines can cause serious injury or death. Alert participating utility companies, such as electric, gas, cable and phone about planned digging so they can mark the appropriate location of their underground lines. Please be prepared for a longer than usual wait time during the next few weeks, and do not dig until the lines have been marked.

• 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.

• Visit CenterPointEnergy.com/StormCenter for natural gas safety tips and other resources.

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CenterPoint Energy donates $1.25 million to assist Hurricane Harvey recovery and relief efforts

Houston – Sept. 1, 2017 – CenterPoint Energy today announced that it is committing $1.25 million to Hurricane Harvey recovery and relief efforts. CenterPoint Energy’s contributions include a $250,000 donation each to the American Red Cross for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, the City of Houston Mayor’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund and the United Way of Greater Houston disaster relief efforts.

“Our thoughts are with everyone impacted by this unprecedented catastrophe,” said Scott Prochazka, president and chief executive officer of CenterPoint Energy. “CenterPoint Energy has been a part of these communities for more than 150 years. The safety and well-being of our communities and employees impacted by Hurricane Harvey remain our top priorities.”

CenterPoint Energy is also donating $300,000 to support employees across its service territory significantly impacted by the storm. The company has also established an employee assistance fund, CenterPoint Energy Employees 1st Fund, to collect employee donations and match them up to a total of $200,000. “We take pride in lending a helping hand to those in need, which is a core part of our culture,” added Prochazka.

In addition to the charitable contributions, employee volunteerism is an important part of CenterPoint Energy’s role in communities throughout its service territory. Employee volunteers provide their time and energy to assist with altruistic initiatives. In 2016, employees, retirees and their families and friends contributed 237,500 hours to their communities, and the company donated more than 2,000 grants to qualified nonprofit organizations.

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, please visit www.CenterPointEnergy.com.

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CenterPoint Energy awards grants to communities for safety initiatives
Minneapolis - Aug. 28, 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 GivenSafety Related Equipment/Project
​8/28/17 ​ ​ ​ ​ ​​Luverne​$495​Emergency communication equipment
​Mankato​$2,500​Firefighter protective hoods
​Mounds View​$495​First aid training equipment
​Paynesville​$2,500​Squad car portable 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 assessing damage, restoring power following Hurricane Harvey

​Crews have restored power to more than 175,000 customers in the last 24 hours; Keep phone lines open for electric and gas emergency calls only; Estimated electric restoration times will be provided once assessments are completed; Natural gas system in Houston area is functioning normally; Not yet safe for crews to assess natural gas system in Victoria, Texas area

Houston – Aug. 26, 2017 – CenterPoint Energy has restored power to more than 175,000 customers throughout its service territory over the last 24 hours. Of the 2.4 million CenterPoint Energy customers, more than 98 percent currently have power, and approximately 22,000 are without power as of 12 p.m.

“While our electric system is performing well, patience will be key as some areas will be difficult for our crews to safely access due to flooding, tornado warnings and other safety-related issues,” said Kenny Mercado, senior vice president of Electric Operations for CenterPoint Energy. “We’ve also called in additional external contract resources to support our restoration efforts and have established a staging site in Fort Bend County. Additional sites are being evaluated at this time.”

“Customers do not need to call us to report outages,” he added. “Our smart meters tell us which customers are out. We ask that everyone please keep phone lines open for electric or gas emergency calls only.”

Scott Doyle, senior vice president of Natural Gas Distribution, said, “Our natural gas distribution system in the greater Houston area is functioning normally; however, crews are responding to gas leak calls in Sinton, Texas, near Corpus Christi, primarily due to toppled trees which have uprooted gas lines.

“Customers need to call us if they smell natural gas or see a damaged line,” he added. “It is not yet safe for crews to assess our gas system in Victoria, Texas; we will begin our assessments as soon as it is safe to do so.”

For latest information on power outages*:

*Please note that some outage notifications may be delayed. Due to the unpredictable nature of Hurricane Harvey, estimated restoration times on Outage Tracker and Power Alert Service are not being provided at this time.

The company urges the public to follow these important 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 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.
CenterPoint Energy awards grants to communities for safety initiatives

Minneapolis – Aug. 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.