Join us for the CenterPoint Energy Torchlight Parade
One of Minnesota's Largest Nighttime Parades
2015-07-21T05:00:00Z

​​MINNEAPOLIS – July 21, 2015 – The CenterPoint Energy Torchlight Parade will be held Wednesday, July 22 from 8:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m. As one of the biggest and brightest parades in the state and a Minneapolis Aquatennial flagship event, this one-of-a-kind display will light up Downtown Minneapolis with a procession of bands and entertainment units marching down Hennepin Avenue.

 This year’s parade marks the fifteenth consecutive year that CenterPoint Energy has taken part in the Aquatennial festivities and sponsored the Torchlight Parade.
 
“The company is pleased to sponsor the 76th annual CenterPoint Energy Torchlight Parade for the fifteenth consecutive year,” said Joe Vortherms, division vice president of Gas Operations in Minnesota. “Our employees are proud to live, work and volunteer in the communities that the company serves every day. To show our pride and appreciation for our customers and communities, the company would like to invite all to share in the excitement of the CenterPoint Energy Torchlight Parade with friends and families on July 22.” 
 
This year’s parade will feature one of Minnesota’s most recognizable and beloved sports personalities, Mark Rosen of WCCO-TV, serving as the parade’s Grand Marshal. Rosen joined WCCO as a high school junior at St. Louis Park Senior High and was hired on full-time while attending the University of Minnesota. He anchors the 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. weekday sportscasts and hosts Rosen’s Sports Sunday. Rosen has won numerous regional Emmy Awards and has been named Best TV Sportscaster by City Pages a number of times.
 
The Aquatennial has partnered with the City of Minneapolis to bring Tap Minneapolis water fountains to the CenterPoint Energy Torchlight Parade. These water stations will be available on both sides of Hennepin Avenue at the intersections of 6th Street, 9th Street and Spruce Place/Laurel Avenue. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own water bottles to the event and utilize the many fountains along the parade route for refills. CenterPoint Energy will also be handing out reusable water bottles to lucky parade-goers, as well as giving away hoop toys to the first 2,000 parade-goers who stop by 6th, 7th, 8th or 9th streets along the route following the parade. 
 
The parade will feature CenterPoint Energy’s Buddy Blue Flame, marching bands, Minneapolis Aqua Jesters and more. K102 returns again this year to emcee the CenterPoint Energy Torchlight Parade featuring their new morning show, Chris Carr & Company.
 
“We are excited to be kicking off this year’s Aquatennial on Wednesday with the CenterPoint Energy Torchlight Parade.  This nighttime parade draws thousands to Hennepin Avenue and it’s truly spectacular to see so many enjoying the evening in downtown Minneapolis,” Aquatennial Festival Director Leah ​​Wong said. “As part of the Aquatennial tradition, it’s great to have long-standing partners that support this civic event, such as CenterPoint Energy who has been the title sponsor of the Aquatennial Torchlight Parade for fifteen consecutive years.”
 
Attend the Aquatennial’s Loring Park Family Fun Night from 5 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. featuring pony rides, inflatables, canoe rides, a kids’ dance, carnival games, Wilderness Inquiry Voyageur Canoe Rides and more. Following Loring Park Family Fun Night will be the Life Time Torchlight 5K. Watch as thousands of runners take off down Hennepin Avenue beginning at 7:30 p.m.
 
For more information, please visit www.Aquatennial.com or follow our @Aquatennial accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #Aquatennial.
 
About the Minneapolis Aquatennial
The Official Civic Celebration of the City of Minneapolis offers outstanding entertainment and activities in the City of Lakes for all ages. It is managed and produced by the Minneapolis Downtown Council. The festival is sponsored by Target, CenterPoint Energy, U.S. Bank, Zeus Jones, Life Time Fitness, Xcel Energy, Hennepin County Medical Center, Minnesota Twins, Minneapolis Recycles, City of Minneapolis, Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board, K102, Go 96.3 and Which Wich. For more information, please visit www.Aquatennial.com or call (612) 376-7669.
 
About the Minneapolis Downtown Council:
Founded in 1955, and one of the oldest central business associations in the nation, the Minneapolis Downtown Council (MDC) is a membership-based entity that works to create an extraordinary downtown. The MDC’s collaborative developments of Intersections: The Downtown 2025 Plan was designed to help downtown businesses, community leaders and citizens build on downtown assets and implement future goals. For more information, please visit DowntownMpls.com
 
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 140 years. The utility also operates a non-regulated business in Minnesota called Home Service Plus®. For more information, visit the website at CenterPointEnergy.com​.
 

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CenterPoint Energy Provides Natural Gas Safety Tips to Help Keep Customers Safe in Severe Weather

MINNEAPOLIS – July 17, 2017 – While summer conditions are here for Minnesotans, the threat of severe weather can occur at a moment's notice. To help keep customers safe, CenterPoint Energy is sharing its natural gas safety tips. CenterPoint Energy customers should remember the following important information in the event of severe weather conditions:

  • Following a severe storm, be alert for leaking natural gas. If you smell, hear or see a natural gas leak, leave the area immediately on foot and tell others to do the same. Natural gas smells like rotten eggs;
  • Do not drive into or near a natural gas leak or a vapor cloud;
  • Once safely away from the area, call 911 immediately. Then call the pipeline operator to report the location and a description of the leak. CenterPoint Energy's emergency natural gas leak hotline is 1-800-296-9815. After receiving a call, CenterPoint Energy will promptly dispatch a trained service technician;  
  • If natural gas is leaking, do not switch lights on or off, smoke, strike a match, use a cell phone, drive a car, or operate anything that may cause a spark, including a flashlight or generator;
  • Do not attempt to turn off your natural gas service at the meter. Meters maintain proper line pressure and prevent water from entering pipes if flooding occurs. Improper operation of natural gas valves could make the situation worse;
  • To turn off natural gas service inside your house, turn the natural gas valve off at each appliance;
  • If your home was flooded, call a licensed plumber or natural gas appliance technician to inspect your appliances and natural gas piping to make sure they are in good operating condition before calling CenterPoint Energy to reconnect service. This includes outdoor natural gas appliances, such as pool heaters, natural gas grills and natural gas lights; and
  • Before cleaning up debris, or possibly excavating near underground natural gas lines and other utility lines, call 811 – the national Call Before You Dig number – to ensure underground utilities are properly located and marked.

 

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. In Minnesota, CenterPoint Energy is the state's largest natural gas distribution utility, serving about 840,000 customers in 260 communities. The utility also operates a non-regulated business in Minnesota called Home Service Plus®. For more information, visit CenterPointEnergy.com.

 

CenterPoint Energy named a 2017 Most Trusted Brand

HOUSTON – July 13, 2017 – CenterPoint Energy earned a 2017 "Most Trusted Brand" designation, making it one of the nation's most trusted utilities according to a new Cogent Reports™ study by Market Strategies International. The Utility Trusted Brand and Customer Engagement: Residential study, now in its fourth year, benchmarks brand performance of 130 electric and natural gas utilities on a quarterly basis among 59,823 utility consumers.  The study measures Brand Trust through scoring six factors among residential customers – customer focus, company reputation and advocacy, community support, communications effectiveness, environmental dedication and reliable quality.

"We have made substantial investments over the last several years to enhance the safety and reliability of our natural gas system and to improve our service to customers," said Gregory E. Knight, senior vice president and chief customer officer for CenterPoint Energy. "We believe being named a 'most trusted brand' clearly demonstrates that customers value and appreciate these efforts."

This year, the utilities designated by Cogent as 2017 Most Trusted Brands score 40 points higher on brand trust than their industry peers and are more likely to receive positive sentiments from their customers in the study.  The annual study highlights a statistical relationship between brand trust and rate case support, and shows customers expect utilities to expand support for new offerings and community outreach as a result of rate increases. Additionally, customers who trust their utility are twice as likely to recommend those alternative energy products to other customers.

 

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 54.1 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 7,700 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.

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

HOUSTON – June 21, 2017 – CenterPoint Energy has been closely monitoring and preparing for Tropical Storm Cindy, which is anticipated to make landfall later today. 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.
  • Be alert for the smell of natural gas. If you smell gas, leave the area immediately 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.

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CenterPoint Energy names 2016 Energy Efficiency Achievement Award recipients

MINNEAPOLIS – June 15, 2017 – CenterPoint Energy recently announced the three recipients of the 2016 Conservation Improvement Program (CIP) Energy Efficiency achievement awards at the 2017 Energy Efficiency and Technology Conference: Customer of the Year; Trade Ally of the Year; and Most Innovative Project of the year.

"We congratulate our winners and are confident that our Conservation Improvement Programs make it easier than ever for customers to become more energy efficient and save money on their monthly energy bills," said Brad Tutunjian, vice president of Gas Operations for CenterPoint Energy in Minnesota.  "Taking steps toward becoming energy efficient is good for consumers' wallets and the environment."

CenterPoint Energy's 2016 Energy Efficiency Achievement Awards:

  • 2016 Conservation Improvement Program Customer of the Year: General Mills, Inc.
    General Mills has demonstrated a long-term commitment to energy conservation. The company completed two major conservation improvement program projects in 2016.  This first was a project for custom-fit insulation jackets for 800 different steam fittings, saving 9,344 dekatherms (Dth) per year. General Mills said the technology shows promise for its other commercial and industrial sites.  The second project used CenterPoint Energy's Process Steam Trap Audit program to test 472 traps at General Mills' James Ford Bell Test Lab. The audit showed that 18 of the traps had failed. Replacements saved the company 4,436 Dth per year.
  • 2016 Trade Ally of the Year: State Supply
    In 2016, State Supply played an important role in facilitating and expediting natural gas rebates for their customers. The company's focus on steam trap projects enabled CenterPoint Energy to set new savings records for prescriptive rebates and steam trap repair/replacement rebates.  State Supply's commitment to their customers, as well as to CenterPoint Energy's Conservation Improvement Program, resulted in more than 157,557 Dth of savings. 
  • Most Innovative Project of the Year: Utepils Brewing
    Utepils Brewing is a new micro-brewery located on the west side of Minneapolis. In 2016, the company installed state-of-the-art German brewery technology involving heat recovery and vacuum de-pressurization. This step helped  decrease the energy consumption of the brewing process by 70 percent.

"We would like to take this opportunity to thank those who participated in our CIP programs in 2016 and helped achieve record natural gas savings of just over 2.0 billion cubic feet.  The savings during 2016 were the equivalent to the annual natural gas usage of 22,200 residential homes and the emissions savings were the equivalent to removing 17,800 cars from the road for one year," added Tutunjian.

CenterPoint Energy is committed to energy conservation and has been a leader in delivering Conservation Improvement Programs in Minnesota since 1992.  The company has significantly increased its energy efficiency programs to help residential and business customers lower their energy costs. In addition to foodservice equipment rebates, the company offers rebates for high-efficiency heating systems, water heaters, industrial process equipment and custom projects for commercial and industrial businesses.

To learn more about how to get started saving money and being more energy efficient today, visit CenterPointEnergy.com/SaveEnergy.

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. In Minnesota, CenterPoint Energy is the state's largest natural gas distribution utility, serving about 840,000 customers in 260 communities. The utility also operates a non-regulated business in Minnesota called Home Service Plus®. For more information, visit CenterPointEnergy.com.

CenterPoint Energy celebrates World Blood Donor Day by helping raise awareness of the need for all blood types

HOUSTON – June 14, 2017 – Today is the World Health Organization's World Blood Donor Day, raising awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products and thanking blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood.

CenterPoint Energy strives to make a positive difference in the communities served. The company's blood drive program addresses a critical need – the need for life-saving blood. In 2016, CenterPoint Energy employees donated 4,787 units of blood, which is enough to impact 14,361 lives.

"Lending a helping hand is a strong part of our company culture. Our charitable giving and employee volunteerism strategy are guided by our core values and desire to be a valuable part of the communities we serve," said Diane Englet, senior director of Corporate Community Relations for CenterPoint Energy.

In partnership with the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center, which serves the world's largest medical campus, CenterPoint Energy employees in Houston have collected 67,725 units of blood since 2002, enough to save more than 203,000 lives. Several drives went beyond being held at the company's facilities and engaged community partners to support collection efforts.

To see what CenterPoint Energy is doing in the community, please visit CenterPointEnergy.com/Community.