​CenterPoint Energy files to change natural gas distribution rates for customers in Minnesota
Capital investments for system safety and reliability are primary drivers for proposed rate change
2015-08-03T20:30:00Z
​​​MINNEAPOLIS –August 3, 2015- CenterPoint Energy today filed an application with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) to change the company’s natural gas distribution rates.  If approved, the new rates would generate approximately $54 million or 6 percent in additional revenue on an annual basis. The effect on individual monthly bills will vary depending on natural gas use. If approved, the net impact of the new rates will increase the average residential customer’s bill by about $5 per month.
 
“Our significant investments, such as our ongoing pipeline replacement programs, maintain the safety and reliability of our natural gas system and benefit our customers and communities,” said Joe Vortherms, division vice president of CenterPoint Energy’s regional gas operations. “These capital investments, which are the primary reasons for this proposed increase, help ensure that we have a modernized, technologically advanced natural gas system that will continue to meet the needs of customers now and in the future.” 
 
This filing seeks approval to change the distribution charge on a customer’s natural gas bill, which makes up about 40 to 50 percent of the total bill and covers the cost of distributing natural gas. The filing does not apply to the cost of natural gas, which is the wholesale price the company pays for natural gas, and makes up about 50 to 60 percent of the bill. The wholesale price of natural gas changes monthly depending on market prices and is passed on directly to customers with no mark-up.
 
The proposed change affects two components that make up the distribution charge portion of a customer’s bill:
  • ​First, CenterPoint Energy is proposing to increase the monthly Basic Charge for residential customers from $9.50 to $11.50 a month.
  • Second, the company is proposing to increase the Delivery Charge from the current $0.18977 per therm (which includes the $0.00519 per therm for the Gas Affordability Service Program) to $0.22405 per therm.
The principal reasons CenterPoint Energy is proposing to change base rates are to:
  • ​Recover the company’s significant capital expenditures in its Minnesota service area. In accordance with natural gas pipeline safety and integrity regulations, these capital expenditures are necessary to maintain a safe and reliable system, to respond to significant public improvement requirements on the system and to modernize the system with technology improvements.
  • Establish rates for all customers groups that better reflect the actual costs of providing service to those customers.
  • Achieve an overall revenue recovery level that meets the company’s financial objectives. 
The MPUC is generally allowed 10 months to issue a final decision on general rate filings, however, if the MPUC approves, interim (temporary) rates are expected to take effect on Oct. 2, 2015, and will be in place until a final decision is made. If the final rates are lower than interim rates, CenterPoint Energy will refund customers the difference including interest. If final rates are higher than interim rates, customers will receive no additional charges for natural gas used while interim rates were in effect.
 
Customers with questions about the proposed change to natural gas distribution rates can call CenterPoint Energy at 612-372-4727 or toll-free 800-245-2377, or visit the company’s website at CenterPointEnergy.com/RateCase.
 
Additionally, public hearings will be held to provide customers and other interested parties the opportunity to comment on the rate request, followed by formal hearings at the MPUC.

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. For more information, visit the website at CenterPointEnergy.com.
 
This news release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based upon assumptions of management which are believed to be reasonable at the time made and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. Actual events and results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Any statements in this news release regarding future events, such as future regulatory actions on the MPUC application, and any other statements that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements. Each forward-looking statement contained in this news release speaks only as of the date of this release.  
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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.