CenterPoint Energy names Brad Tutunjian vice president of Gas Operations in Minnesota
2015-11-10T06:00:00Z

​​​​​MINNEAPOLIS – November 10, 2015 – CenterPoint Energy has named Brad Tutunjian vice president of CenterPoint Energy’s Gas Operations in Minnesota. In this role, Tutunjian will be responsible for the state’s largest natural gas distribution utility, which serves over 835,000 customers in 260 communities, and the company’s unregulated business, Home Service Plus (HSP). 

“I’m excited to return to my Minnesotan roots,” said Brad Tutunjian, vice president of Gas Operations for CenterPoint Energy.  “I look forward to working alongside this team of Minnesota employees, who are proud to live, work and volunteer in the communities that we serve every day, and have a proven track record of providing safe and reliable natural gas services for over 145 years.” 
 
A native of Minnesota, Tutunjian began his career with the company in 1998 and has held various leadership positions in Electric and Natural Gas Operations. He most recently served as vice president of Gas Operations for the company’s natural gas distribution systems in Louisiana and Mississippi. 

He has held numerous leadership positions in construction, operations and maintenance, customer and energy marketing services, as well as, serving on the board for the American Red Cross, Goodwill Industries and Chairman of the Board for Utilization Technology Development. Tutunjian was also a CenterPoint Energy keynote speaker for various industry associations, such as, the American School of Gas Measurement and the Southern Gas Association where he discussed his key roles 
in both electric and natural gas emergency restoration efforts during hurricanes Ike, Gustav, Rita, Katrina and Humberto. 

Tutunjian, a licensed professional engineer, holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Texas Tech University. Tutunjian replaced Joe Vortherms, who has moved to CenterPoint Energy’s headquarters in Houston to lead the company’s non-regulated natural gas sales and services business.

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 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.

For the latest information on power outages:

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.

CenterPoint Energy to use drones to help expedite damage assessment and response following a hurricane or severe weather

HOUSTON - June 1, 2017 – Hurricane season officially begins today and CenterPoint Energy is gearing up by incorporating the use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS), commonly referred to as drones, into its Emergency Operating Plan (EOP). Drones could help expedite the company's ability to assess damage to its electric transmission and distribution system following a hurricane.

"We had the opportunity to test drone technology following last week's severe weather in Sealy, Texas, and see potential for drones to play a key role in storm and disaster response," said Kenny Mercado, senior vice president of Electric Operations for CenterPoint Energy.

"Obstacles such as downed trees or flooded roads make it difficult for crews to assess damage following a severe weather event, which in turn can hinder response and restoration time," added Mercado. "Using drones in areas that are inaccessible by foot to capture high-resolution imagery in real time will help us assess damage and deploy the right resources in the right places to restore power."

CenterPoint Energy has used helicopters in the past to assess system damage and will still use them as necessary; however, drones can typically be deployed faster than helicopters.

"We also urge amateur drone operators not to fly them following a natural disaster," said Mercado. "Doing so will not only hinder CenterPoint Energy's ability to assess damage, but may also interfere with the drones being used by emergency response agencies to assist in the recovery effort."

Outage duration could be two weeks or longer depending on storm severity

While CenterPoint Energy plans to use drones to help expedite damage assessment and restoration times, the company urges customers to have their own emergency plan, particularly if they depend on electricity for life-sustaining equipment.

"No two storms are alike, which makes it difficult to forecast what the exact damage to our electric system could be and how long outages could last," Mercado said. "Customers need to be prepared to be without power for two weeks or possibly longer, depending on the severity of the storm. If a storm is approaching and someone in your home depends on electricity for life-sustaining equipment, you need to make other arrangements to provide for those needs."

For information and resources on hurricane preparedness, visit CenterPointEnergy.com/StormCenter.

CenterPoint Energy makes significant progress restoring power in Sealy

HOUSTON, TX – May 25, 2017 – CenterPoint Energy continues to make significant progress restoring power in the hard-hit area of Sealy, Texas. following Tuesday night's severe weather.

The company has already restored power to more than 48,000 customers, and is on target to restore service to all customers who are able to receive it by late this evening. In addition to damaging CenterPoint Energy's electric infrastructure and equipment, the storm may have damaged some customer-owned equipment. Customers should check their weatherhead – the point where power enters the home through a pipe. If this equipment is damaged, customers will need to contact a qualified electrician to make sure it is repaired before the company is able to restore service to them. 

CenterPoint Energy urges customers to always stay at least 10 feet away from downed power lines and report them to us at 713-207-2222. For the latest information on outages, visit CenterPointEnergy.com/OutageTracker.