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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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.