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.

2016-11-30T06:00:00Z
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. 



2016-11-29T06:00:00Z
Minnesota utilities join first ever national campaign to protect customers from scammers

MINNEAPOLIS – November 15, 2016 – Gas and electric utility companies across the United States and Canada as well as the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota (BBB) are joining forces to protect customers from long-running scams targeting customers of utility service providers. Reports of phone, email billing and door to door scams are back again and represent thousands of dollars lost by customer victims. That is why Minnesota utilities are participating in the first national Utilities United Against Scams (UUAS) event and have designated November 16th as “Utilities United Against Scams Day.”  This day will be supported by a week-long campaign focused on exposing the tricks scammers use to steal money, and how customers can protect themselves.  

 “These schemes often ramp up with the change in seasons,” said Dana Badgerow, president and CEO of the BBB of Minnesota and North Dakota. “Like most scams, it plays on peoples’ fears and has proven to be quite effective, unfortunately.” 

During the phone scam, a customer receives a phone call from an individual who falsely claims to be a utility representative. The scammer warns that the utility will disconnect the customer’s electric or natural gas service if the customer fails to make a payment – usually within a short timeframe. ​

Scammers have even duplicated utilities’ telephone messages and automated response systems so when customers call phone numbers provided by the scammer it sounds legitimate. Some of these scammers also use caller ID spoofing to replicate utilities’ customer service numbers. 

 The campaign encourages the public to share these messages to help guard against scam activity.  Some Minnesota utilities experience an increase of more than 30 percent in customer scam attempts when colder temperatures set in.

Red flags for scam activity 
  • The scammer tells the customer his or her account is past due and service will be disconnected if a large payment isn’t made – usually within less than an hour. 
  • The scammer instructs the customer to purchase a pre-paid debit or credit card – widely available at retail stores – then instructs the customer to call back to supposedly make a payment to the utility.
How to protect yourself 
  • Utilities never ask or require a customer with a past due account to purchase a prepaid debit card to avoid disconnection. 
  • ​Customers with past due accounts receive an advance disconnection notification by mail– not a single notification one hour before disconnection. 
  • ​Know which utility providers serve you.
  • ​If you suspect someone is trying to scam you, hang up and call your utility at the phone number listed on your bill and report it to the BBB. Never dial the phone number the scammers provide. 
  • Customers, who suspect or experience fraud, or feel threatened during contact with one of these scams, should contact local authorities.
The utility companies of Minnesota and the BBB continue to enhance efforts to educate the public.  For the first time, in 2014, Minnesota utilities joined forces with the BBB to launch “Slam the Scam” - a coalition and awareness campaign aimed at warning customers and preventing scams.   The coalition is encouraging customers who think they are being targeted by a scammer to simply end the conversation and “slam” down the phone.  

The Better Business Bureau of Minnesota is closely tracking these types of scams.

UUAS is a collaborative effort among the electric, gas, and water utility industries to help prevent utility service fraud through education, awareness, and customer advocacy initiatives. A primary goal of this collective effort is to help customers learn how to identify and avoid utility-related scams.

You can learn more about the UUAS effort at www.eei.org including further tips and resources to help spot and avoid utility scams. 

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.​
2016-11-15T06:00:00Z
CenterPoint Energy reports third quarter 2016 earnings of $0.41 per diluted share and updates full year guidance to $1.16 - $1.20
  • ​​​​Strong utility performance driven by customer growth and rate relief
  • Midstream Investments expected to contribute earnings at the high end of the $0.24 - $0.28 guidance range for 2016
  • Company continues to target 4-6% annual earnings growth through 2018 
Houston, TX – November 4, 2016 - CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (NYSE: CNP) today reported net income of $179 million, or $0.41 per diluted share, for the third quarter of 2016, compared with a $391 million loss or a loss of $0.91 per diluted share for the same period of the prior year. The third quarter 2015 loss included pre-tax impairment charges totaling $862 million related to midstream investments.  Excluding the impairment charges, third quarter 2015 net income would have been $146 million or $0.34 per diluted share. On a guidance basis, third quarter 2016 earnings were $0.41 per diluted share, consisting of $0.31 from utility operations and $0.10 from midstream investments.  On the same guidance basis and excluding the impairment charges, third quarter 2015 earnings would have been $0.34 per diluted share, consisting of $0.24 from utility operations and $0.10 from midstream investments.   

Operating income for the third quarter of 2016 was $284 million, compared with $265 million in the third quarter of the prior year. Equity income from midstream investments was $73 million for the third quarter of 2016, compared with a $794 million loss for the same period in the prior year, which includes the impairment charges noted above.

“Utility operations and midstream investments both performed well in the third quarter,” said Scott M. Prochazka, president and chief executive officer of CenterPoint Energy.  “As a result, we are adjusting guidance to the higher end of the range for 2016.”  

E
lectric Transmission & Distribution

The electric transmission & distribution segment reported operating income of $257 million for the third quarter of 2016, consisting of $234 million from the regulated electric transmission & distribution utility operations (TDU) and $23 million related to securitization bonds. Operating income for the third quarter of 2015 was $244 million, consisting of $219 million from the TDU and $25 million related to securitization bonds. 

Operating income for the TDU benefited primarily from rate relief, customer growth and higher equity return, primarily related to true-up proceeds.  These benefits were partially offset by higher depreciation and other taxes.  

Natural Gas Distribution

The natural gas distribution segment reported operating income of $22 million for the third quarter of 2016, compared with $11 million for the same period of 2015. Operating income benefited from rate relief, revenue from decoupling mechanisms, lower bad debt expense and lower sales and use tax.  These benefits were partially offset by higher depreciation and increased labor and benefit expenses. 

Energy Services

The energy services segment reported operating income of $5 million for the third quarter of 2016 compared with $7 million for the same period in the prior year.  Third quarter operating income for 2016 included a mark-to-market accounting loss of $2 million, compared to a gain of $5 million for the same period of the prior year.  Excluding mark-to-market adjustments, operating income would have been $7 million in the third quarter of 2016 and $2 million in the third quarter of 2015.    

Midstream Investments
The midstream investments segment reported $73 million of equity income for the third quarter of 2016, compared with a $794 million loss in the third quarter of the prior year, which includes the impairment charges noted above.  For the third quarter of 2015, the impairments were partially offset by equity earnings of $68 million. 
Enable Midstream declared a quarterly cash distribution of $0.318 per common and subordinated unit on November 1, 2016.  Please refer to Enable Midstream’s November 2, 2016 earnings press release for details.

Dividend Declaration

On October 27, 2016, CenterPoint Energy’s board of directors declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.2575 per share of common stock payable on December 9, 2016, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on November 16, 2016. 

Outlook for 2016

On a consolidated basis, CenterPoint Energy updates earnings on a guidance basis for 2016 to the range of $1.16 – $1.20 per diluted share.  
The guidance range considers utility operations performance to date and certain significant variables that may impact earnings, such as weather, regulatory and judicial proceedings, throughput, commodity prices, effective tax rates, and financing activities. In providing this guidance, the company uses a non-GAAP measure of adjusted diluted earnings per share that does not consider other potential impacts, such as changes in accounting standards or unusual items, earnings or losses from the change in the value of the ZENS securities and the related stocks, or the timing effects of mark-to-market accounting in the company’s Energy Services business. 
 
In providing guidance, the company assumes for midstream investments a 55.4 percent limited partner ownership interest in Enable Midstream and includes the amortization of CenterPoint Energy’s basis difference in Enable Midstream. CenterPoint Energy’s guidance takes into account such factors as Enable Midstream’s most recent public outlook for 2016, dated November 2, 2016, and effective tax rates. The company does not include other potential impacts such as any changes in accounting standards or Enable Midstream’s unusual items.

Filing of Form 10-Q for CenterPoint Energy, Inc.

Today, CenterPoint Energy, Inc. filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the period ended September 30, 2016. A copy of that report is available on the company’s website, under the Investors section. Other filings the company makes with the SEC and certain documents relating to its corporate governance can also be found under the Investors section. 

Webcast of Earnings Conference Call​

CenterPoint Energy’s management will host an earnings conference call on Friday, November 4, 2016 at 10 a.m. Central time or 11 a.m. Eastern time. Interested parties may listen to a live audio broadcast of the conference call on the company’s website under the Investors section. A replay of the call can be accessed approximately two hours after the completion of the call and will be archived on the website for at least one year.

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.

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 earnings, and future financial performance and results of operations, including, but not limited to earnings guidance, targeted dividend growth rate 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. Factors that could affect actual results include (1) state and federal legislative and regulatory actions or developments affecting various aspects of CenterPoint Energy's businesses (including the businesses of Enable Midstream Partners (Enable Midstream)), including, among others, energy deregulation or re-regulation, pipeline integrity and safety, health care reform, financial reform, tax legislation, and actions regarding the rates charged by CenterPoint Energy's regulated businesses; (2) state and federal legislative and regulatory actions or developments relating to the environment, including those related to global climate change; (3) recording of non-cash goodwill, long-lived asset or other than temporary impairment charges by or related to Enable Midstream; (4) timely and appropriate rate actions that allow recovery of costs and a reasonable return on investment; (5) the timing and outcome of any audits, disputes or other proceedings related to taxes; (6) problems with construction, implementation of necessary technology or other issues with respect to major capital projects that result in delays or in cost overruns that cannot be recouped in rates; (7) industrial, commercial and residential growth in CenterPoint Energy's service territories and changes in market demand, including the effects of energy efficiency measures and demographic patterns; (8) the timing and extent of changes in commodity prices, particularly natural gas and natural gas liquids, and the effects of geographic and seasonal commodity price differentials, and the impact of commodity changes on producer related activities; (9) weather variations and other natural phenomena, including the impact on operations and capital from severe weather events; (10) any direct or indirect effects on CenterPoint Energy's facilities, operations and financial condition resulting from terrorism, cyber-attacks, data security breaches or other attempts to disrupt its businesses or the businesses of third parties, or other catastrophic events; (11) the impact of unplanned facility outages; (12) timely and appropriate regulatory actions allowing securitization or other recovery of costs associated with any future hurricanes or natural disasters; (13) changes in interest rates or rates of inflation; (14) commercial bank and financial market conditions, CenterPoint Energy's access to capital, the cost of such capital, and the results of its financing and refinancing efforts, including availability of funds in the debt capital markets; (15) actions by credit rating agencies; (16) effectiveness of CenterPoint Energy's risk management activities; (17) inability of various counterparties to meet their obligations; (18) non-payment for services due to financial distress of CenterPoint Energy's and Enable Midstream’s customers; (19) the ability of GenOn Energy, Inc. (formerly known as RRI Energy, Inc.), a wholly owned subsidiary of NRG Energy, Inc., and its subsidiaries to satisfy their obligations to CenterPoint Energy and its subsidiaries; (20) the ability of retail electric providers, and particularly the largest customers of the TDU, to satisfy their obligations to CenterPoint Energy and its subsidiaries; (21) the outcome of litigation; (22) CenterPoint Energy's ability to control costs, invest planned capital, or execute growth projects; (23) the investment performance of pension and postretirement benefit plans; (24) potential business strategies, including restructurings, joint ventures, and acquisitions or dispositions of assets or businesses, for which no assurance can be given that they will be completed or will provide the anticipated benefits to CenterPoint Energy; (25) acquisition and merger activities and successful integration of such activities, involving CenterPoint Energy or its competitors; (26) the ability to recruit, effectively transition and retain management and key employees and maintain good labor relations; (27) future economic conditions in regional and national markets and their effects on sales, prices and costs; (28) the performance of Enable Midstream, the amount of cash distributions CenterPoint Energy receives from Enable Midstream, and the value of its interest in Enable Midstream, and factors that may have a material impact on such performance, cash distributions and value, including certain of the factors specified above and: (A) the integration of the operations of the businesses contributed to Enable Midstream; (B) the achievement of anticipated operational and commercial synergies and expected growth opportunities, and the successful implementation of  Enable Midstream’s business plan; (C) competitive conditions in the midstream industry, and actions taken by Enable Midstream’s customers and competitors, including the extent and timing of the entry of additional competition in the markets served by Enable Midstream; (D) the timing and extent of changes in the supply of natural gas and associated commodity prices, particularly natural gas and natural gas liquids, the competitive effects of the available pipeline capacity in the regions served by Enable Midstream, and the effects of geographic and seasonal commodity price differentials, including the effects of these circumstances on re-contracting available capacity on Enable Midstream’s interstate pipelines; (E) the demand for crude oil, natural gas, NGLs and transportation and storage services; (F) changes in tax status; (G) access to growth capital; and (H) the availability and prices of raw materials for current and future construction projects; (29) effective tax rate; (30) the effect of changes in and application of accounting standards and pronouncements; (31) other factors discussed in CenterPoint Energy’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2015, as well as in CenterPoint Energy’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2016, June 30, 2016 and September 30, 2016 and other reports CenterPoint Energy or its subsidiaries may file from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission.


2016-11-04T10:00:00Z
CenterPoint Energy linemen make impressive showing at International Lineman’s Rodeo

HOUSTON – October 20, 2016 – CenterPoint Energy linemen teams brought home seven awards at the 33rd International Lineman’s Rodeo recently held in Bonner Springs, Kansas. The event offered linemen from around the world an opportunity to compete against each other in a friendly competition, and showcase their pride in the profession. 

Clint King of CenterPoint Energy’s Cypress Service Center, Patrick Huff and Brandon Rustin of Spring Branch Service Center took third place in the Investor Owned Utilities (IOU) Division and third place overall for Journeyman Team. Shawn Wassgren of Cypress Service Center took third place on the written test and fourth place in the slack block eye splice competition.  

“Our journeyman teams and apprentices represented CenterPoint Energy with a high level of integrity, respect and teamwork as they participated in the competition,” said Ed Scott, regional operations director for CenterPoint Energy. “Every day, our crews use these difficult technical skills to safely provide exceptional service to our customers.”

The Lineman’s Rodeo attracts the best linemen from around the world to compete in events based on traditional lineman tasks and skills. The Lineman’s Rodeo includes competitive events like the hurt man rescue and the pole climb, which are graded on safety and proficiency. 

Additional CenterPoint Energy teams and individuals awarded include:​
  • Clint King of Cypress Service Center, Patrick Huff of Bellaire Service Center and Brandon Rustin of Spring Branch Service Center, who placed fourth overall in the Transformer Change Out,
  • Shawn Wassgren of Greenspoint Service Center, who placed fifth overall in the Investor Owned Utilities (IOU) category, and
  • Justin Sommerfeld of Ft. Bend Service Center, who placed fifth in the slack block eye splice competition.

2016-10-20T05:00:00Z
Frauenshuh Commercial Real Estate Group and CenterPoint Energy Win Prestigious NAIOP Award of Excellence

MINNEAPOLIS - (Oct. 13, 2016) – Frauenshuh Commercial Real Estate Group (Frauenshuh) and CenterPoint Energy are pleased to announce they have received the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP) Award of Excellence in the light Industrial – low finish category. 

The award recognizes Frauenshuh’s project coordination and pre-development services of the CenterPoint Energy office located in Golden Valley. Frauenshuh facilitated a dramatic change to the site owned by CenterPoint Energy for over 60 years, which boasts visibility in a centralized, first-tier suburban location. The 64,000-square-foot facility at 6161 Golden Valley Road opened in June 2016.

“CenterPoint Energy is proud to have coordinated with Frauenshuh on the new building and to have received the NAIOP award for our work in Golden Valley,” said Michael Jenson, facilities manager at CenterPoint Energy. “It is exciting to see that our plans for the industrial facility renovations and construction are being recognized as an excellent success.”

The expansion and repositioning of this property has allowed CenterPoint Energy to co-locate major regional operations at one site for offices, warehouse, Home Service Plus (HSP), the state's largest provider of major appliance maintenance and repair services, as well as replacement heating and cooling equipment, lab testing, natural gas pipe yard and peak shaving operations. The finished office space also includes a HSP sales call center, collaborative meeting spaces, Gas Operations management 
offices and administrative space. A striking contemporary reception area features a natural gas fireplace showroom for customers who, by appointment, are able to view and test various types of fireplaces; a one-of-a-kind offering in the Twin Cities Metro. 

“Our strategy for the expansion was to first, provide working environments for our employees that are comfortable, flexible, safe and efficient, “ added Dave Long, facilities construction project manager for  CenterPoint Energy. “And second, use this opportunity to minimize operating costs.  The crowning achievement was in meeting both goals with one successful project.”
 
“Winning a NAIOP Award of Excellence is an honor and I am proud of the work executed by the Frauenshuh team. This new centralized regional operations facility brings a renewed, energized presence in what the city has now termed ‘The Gateway to Golden Valley,’” said Shannon Reilly, Frauenshuh senior vice president. “The success of this project hinged on our collaborative team approach and the creative solutions brought to the table from years of experience,” added Ross Hedlund, Frauenshuh vice president. 

“This project was a great example of excellent teamwork and execution to meet an aggressive schedule and budget. The results were outstanding,” said David Anderson, Frauenshuh senior vice president. 

NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, Awards of Excellence program recognizes exceptional developments by NAIOP members. Winners of the awards are selected by a panel of independent judges. Judges are required to tour the nominated projects and rate them based on the criteria including; site development, architectural integrity, interior design, integration into the community, market feasibility, unique challenges and LEED certification.

“The NAIOP Minnesota Awards of Excellence recognize exceptional commercial real estate projects that benefit Minnesota business. The criteria encompass integral elements including feasibility, design, architecture, sustainability and integration into the community. The judges recognized Frauenshuh’s CenterPoint Energy Regional Operations Facility as an extraordinary project in representing an important Minnesota business,” said Tony LeClerc, executive director of NAIOP Minnesota.
CenterPoint Energy now has the ability to house 70 additional employees and operate a number of their required regional functions out of the Golden Valley facility. The development blends the need for an industrial gas-utility use with the community pedestrian connections to the adjacent Luce Line trail and neighborhoods. This also allows for a future roundabout and Douglas Drive construction project to be completed utilizing land on the northwest corner of the site owned by CenterPoint Energy.

About Frauenshuh Commercial Real Estate Group

A leading commercial real estate firm with over 30 years of experience, Frauenshuh Commercial Real Estate Group provides full service solutions to its clients by utilizing in-depth market knowledge and innovative market-leading tools.  From its beginnings as a property management company in 1983 Frauenshuh quickly grew into a full-service real estate firm, with services covering a broad range of real estate needs, including leasing and brokerage, tenant representation, development, project administration and property and asset management. For more information, please visit www.frauenshuhcommercial.com.

About CenterPoint Energy

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 www.CenterPointEnergy.com.





2016-10-13T05:00:00Z
Call CenterPoint Energy now for Cold Weather Rule protection

MINNEAPOLIS – Oct. 10, 2016 – CenterPoint Energy is reminding customers about certain rights and their responsibilities as it relates to the Cold Weather Rule (CWR), which protects residential customers experiencing difficulty paying their natural gas bill from having their natural gas service disconnected between Oct. 15 and April 15, 2017. While the CWR does not prevent customers from being disconnected for nonpayment, it does provide customers extra protection as defined in the CWR, but residential customers must contact CenterPoint Energy to set up a payment plan.

“We are here to help our customers understand the Minnesota Cold Weather Rule,” said Brad Tutunjian, vice president of Gas Operations in Minnesota.  “The rule not only provides additional protection for customers who anticipate having trouble paying their gas bill, it also applies to customers whose service is currently disconnected. These customers should call us now to establish a payment plan to get their natural gas service restored as the heating season begins.”

Customers who anticipate having trouble paying their entire natural gas bill, have received a Notice of Proposed Disconnection or need gas service reconnected are all urged to call CenterPoint Energy to establish a payment plan. A payment plan will include what is owed as well as the amount to be billed and will take into consideration a customer’s financial situation and any other special circumstances. The payment plan must also be agreeable to both the customer and CenterPoint Energy. If an agreed-upon payment plan cannot be reached, customers have a right to appeal under the CWR.

Under the CWR, special payment terms are available to customers who:
  • Apply for and receive Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funding assistance in Minnesota, or
  • Meet income guidelines set by the state of Minnesota and provide proof of income.

Call CenterPoint Energy to set up a payment plan at 1-612-372-4680 or 1-800-729-6164. For additional information, please visit CenterPointEnergy.com/ReadyForWinter.

Other helpful information:

  • In addition to calling CenterPoint Energy to discuss and establish a payment plan, company representatives are available to refer customers to social service agencies who may have energy assistance funds.
  • Customers can also sign up for CenterPoint Energy’s Average Monthly Billing Plan, which spreads natural gas costs throughout the year, helping customers avoid payment peaks. Customers can sign up online through My Account at CenterPointEnergy.com/Register or by calling CenterPoint Energy.
  • The Minnesota Department of Commerce maintains a website that provides information on energy efficiency and heating assistance programs. 
  • ​Customers interested in helping others pay their natural gas bill can support the Salvation Army’s HeatShare program. Visit The Salvation Army’s ​website to make a donation.

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.




2016-10-10T05:00:00Z
Keep your family safe and healthy by preventing carbon monoxide exposure

​​MINNEAPOLIS – October 06, 2016 – Carbon monoxide (CO) exposure incidents increase during the winter months and CO is often called the silent killer.  It is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that when inhaled, enters the blood stream preventing proper absorption of oxygen, leading to illness and even death.  According to the National Fire Incident Reporting System, municipal fire departments across the country respond to more than 60,000 CO incidents each year. 


“Natural gas furnaces provide heating to thousands of Minnesotans safely and efficiently; however, home heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel inadequately can be sources of dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.  Additionally, poorly maintained fuel-burning equipment and appliances can cause fuels to burn incompletely and accumulate,” said Doug Boudreaux, district director of Gas Operations for CenterPoint Energy.  “There is an even greater risk of accumulation when a home is tightly sealed and not properly ventilated.”

 Important safety tips about how to recognize the symptoms of and avoid CO exposure
  • Flu-like symptoms including headaches, nausea, fatigue, confusion and dizziness that disappear when a person breathes fresh air.
  • Unusually high indoor humidity with persistent heavy condensation on walls and windows and soot or water collecting near a burner or vent can be an indication of CO.
  • Stuffy, stale or noticeably poor indoor air quality.
  • ​If you suspect CO exposure, leave the area immediately taking your pets with you and tell others to do the same. Once you are safely away from the area, call 911 to report the suspected CO incident. 

Treatment for CO exposure is fresh air or oxygen. Severe exposure requires medical attention. Do not return to your home or building until the source of the problem is discovered and corrected To prevent CO build up:

  • As required by Minnesota law, purchase a CO detection device with an audible alarm and digital display and install it no more than 10 feet from each sleeping quarter. 
  • ​Never operate an automobile, lawn mower or any combustion engine, barbecue grill or similar equipment in an enclosed area such as your home, garage, tent, fish house, trailer or place of business, even with the door open. Any pollutants in the air from the garage, such as a car engine running, can travel into the structure and CO can accumulate.
  • Fuel-burning appliances and combustible engines all produce CO that can reach dangerous levels if improperly operated or maintained.   Have fuel-burning equipment regularly checked by a qualified technician according to manufacturer’s recommendation. 
  • Never leave a fire smoldering in a fireplace. 
  • Equipment that uses natural gas should produce a clear blue flame. A yellow or orange flame may indicate a qualified technician should check for a potential problem with the equipment.
  • Provide adequate combustion air for all your appliances.
  • Keep vents, fresh air intakes and chimneys clear of debris or other obstructions to vent to outdoors and check for vent pipes that have gaps, leaks, and spaces or are rusted through.
  • ​​Never attempt to heat a room with a range, oven or clothes dryer 

For more information about natural gas safety, visit CenterPointEnergy.com/BeSafe​ or call 612-372-4727 or 1-800-245-2377.

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.



2016-10-06T05:00:00Z
Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton proclaims October as HVAC System Awareness Month

MINNEAPOLIS – September 28, 2016 –Governor Mark Dayton recently issued a proclamation announcing October as Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) System Awareness Month in Minnesota. The proclamation is the initiative of the Minnesota Blue Flame Natural Gas Association, which is made up of member utilities and companies that educate and promote the safe, efficient use and value of natural gas and natural gas equipment and encourage energy efficiency and energy conservation. This marks the first HVAC System Awareness Month which is designed to highlight the benefits of annual maintenance.

The proclamation urges Minnesota residents to have a qualified technician perform an annual inspection of their HVAC systems to ensure safety and reliability. Inspections will:

  • Address unsafe conditions,
  • Prevent malfunctions,
  • Help appliances perform more efficiently, saving energy and money, and 
  • Foster environmental stewardship through more efficient operations

“We’re ready to share our expertise with customers and help them stay safe and warm this season by performing HVAC system tune-ups,” said Todd Berreman, director of Energy Efficiency for CenterPoint Energy.  “We are also pleased to offer furnace and boiler system tune-up rebates to customers who complete qualifying inspection and maintenance of their natural gas heating systems.”
 
“We have wonderful trade partners across the state who can help residents tune up their existing system or recommend a new one if they’re in the market,” says Greg Olson, Xcel Energy Trade Relations Manager. “We recommend getting bids from three dealers. Check xcelenergy.com for a list of participating dealers and for appliance rebate information​.”

Heating system tips:

Furnaces and other fuel-burning appliances such as water heaters, clothes dryers and ovens, produce CO that can reach dangerous levels if not maintained or used properly. CenterPoint Energy and Xcel Energy recommend that customers have all of their fuel-burning appliances inspected by a qualified technician at the start of the heating season.  It is also recommended that homeowners purchase a CO detection device with an audible alarm and digital display, install it 10 feet from each bedroom as required by law, change the batteries as necessary and check for proper operation.  

Other energy efficiency tips include:
 
  • ​Changing furnace filters per manufacturer’s recommendations, 
  • ​Lowering your thermostat  8-10 degrees when you’re sleeping or away, and 
  • Sealing off leaks through weather-stripping doors, windows and gaps along the home's foundation.

For other energy saving tips and rebate information, please visit CenterPointEnergy.com/SaveEnergy and xcelenergy.com/Rebates​.​

About CenterPoint Energy

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​.

About Xcel Energy 

Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL) provides the energy that powers millions of homes and businesses across eight Western and Midwestern states. Headquartered in Minneapolis, the company is an industry leader in responsibly reducing carbon emissions and producing and delivering clean energy solutions from a variety of renewable sources at competitive prices. For more information, visit xcelenergy.com or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.



2016-09-28T05:00:00Z
CenterPoint Energy’s Bonnie Creason, a Golden Valley resident, receives the Bruce A. Palmer Distinguished Volunteer Service Award

“This award reflects the caring, unselfish spirit that many of our company’s employees demonstrate in their communities.”- CenterPoint Energy

MINNEAPOLIS – August 30, 2016 – CenterPoint Energy employee and Golden Valley resident, Bonnie Creason, was recently selected by YouthCARE to receive the Bruce A. Palmer Distinguished Volunteer Service Award in recognition of her tireless service to youth in the Twin Cities communities. The award is the highest recognition bestowed upon YouthCARE volunteers and winners are chosen by a selection committee made up of senior staff. 

“This award reflects the caring, unselfish spirit that many of our company’s employees demonstrate in their communities,” said Jean Krause, community relations director for CenterPoint Energy. “CenterPoint Energy is proud to see its employees partnering with community organizations like this to build inclusive and sustainable communities in each of the areas that we serve.” 

Creason, an art director for CenterPoint Energy, mentors young women in the Little Earth Community in south Minneapolis through the Young Women’s Mentoring Program and also serves on the YouthCARE marketing and events committee. “My relationships with the girls, other youth, the community, the organization and other volunteers inspire me every day,” said Creason. “I’ve always felt a momentous way to change the world is to be there for a child.  They just need someone to pay attention to them, and create expectations and experience that help them become successful.”

 “YouthCARE’s mission is to promote respect for self and others, develop future leaders and provide youth with positive multicultural activities and relationships with caring adults,” added Willie Dean, Ph.D., executive director for YouthCARE. “Bonnie has given unselfishly of her time, talents, and treasures to help ensure that YouthCARE has the resources to serve youth in our community.”

Creason was presented her award during Visitors’ Day at Camp Sunrise, a year-round YouthCARE outdoor educational program focused on bringing together Twin Cities youth, ages 13-18 years, from diverse ethnic, racial and cultural backgrounds to live and work in an outdoor community. Creason and her husband, Douglas Giron, helped prepare camp for this season by cutting grass, removing debris and helping set-up equipment.

About YouthCARE

Since 1974, YouthCARE has led ambitious multicultural youth development programs to empower youth in Minneapolis and St. Paul to thrive and lead. 
Through innovative programming and relationships with caring adults, participants find the support, education, and perspective to become global citizens and community leaders.

To learn more about what CenterPoint Energy is doing in your community, visit CenterPointEnergy.com/Community. 


2016-08-30T05:00:00Z

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