Help stop utility scams
Don’t fall for the latest
utility scam phone calls from individuals claiming to represent CenterPoint Energy. Current scams include service disconnection calls to small commercial businesses, job offer scams and fake payment scams. In addition, in the past we have also heard reports of phone calls or visits from people going door-to-door trying to collect money fraudulently by claiming utility bills are overdue and must be paid immediately.
If you are contacted by a possible scammer, hang up immediately. If something sounds too good to be true, it may be a fraud. Be aware that scammers often use Caller ID spoofing software to misrepresent the source of a phone call, or provide you with a fake "verification" phone number. If you need to verify your account status, call
Customer Service, or
log in to your account on our website.
If you suspect fraud, report it to your local police, the FBI and the Federal Trade Commission. We value your privacy and information.
- While utility companies do contact customers whose accounts are overdue, they will first do so through the mail, only sending in-person representatives to collect payments after they have made every attempt to work with you to keep your account current. Even then, they will have proper identification and welcome you to call the utility company to verify their identity. Neither they nor phone representatives will demand that payments be made via a reloadable debit card.
- Customers should always ask to see – and verify - a company identification badge before discussing their account information or letting an employee near them or into their home.
- Take your time and always ask questions if you suspect a scammer.
- If you have doubts about a caller’s identity or suspicions about the purpose of the call, hang up and contact your utility directly to verify any information you’ve been given.
- Be aware that many utility companies offer payment options if your natural gas account is in arrears or if you need assistance. CenterPoint Energy customers can
visit our website for assistance.
- Delete deceptive emails
job postings and employment offerings.
Get ready for winter
If you or someone you know needs help paying their bill this winter, please
Low- and no-cost energy efficiency tips
By taking a few simple do-it-yourself steps, you can significantly improve the energy efficiency of your home.
- Run your ceiling fan in reverse mode on a low-setting in the winter to move warm air that rises down and more evenly through a room.
- Move furniture away from all forced-air vents so air can effectively travel out of the vent and is not blocked.
- Buy foam gaskets and install them behind electrical outlets to seal air leaks.
- Keep your home’s windows as air-tight as possible by simply locking your windows to tighten the seal which keeps your home’s warm air from leaking outside.
- Find more
energy-saving tips on our website.
Add comfort and style this holiday season
Natural gas logs and fireplaces can add ambiance and warmth to your home when entertaining this holiday season. Powered by energy-efficient natural gas, these fireplaces are hassle-free, clean and easy to maintain.
With the Natural Gas MarketPlace, it’s easy to add the warm glow of natural gas to your home. Contact a participating dealer at 713-207-SHOP or visit us online.
Carbon monoxide safety reminders
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that is dangerous and potentially poisonous if inhaled. Take a minute to review the signs of CO, how to prevent exposure and what to do if you suspect CO is present in your home or building.
If you suspect CO is present:
- CO may be present with unusually high indoor humidity with persistent heavy condensation on walls and windows and/or stuffy or stale indoor air, soot or water collecting near a burner or vent.
Exposure signs: Slight headache, vomiting, nausea, fatigue, blurred vision, flu-like symptoms that disappear with fresh air. With more exposure, symptoms may include drowsiness, confusion, rapid heartrate, unconsciousness and even death.
Learn more and find out how to prevent CO buildup
- Get everyone, including pets, out of your home or building.
- Open windows to ventilate the area.
- Shut off your furnace and other fuel-burning appliances.
- If you have an attached garage, open the garage door(s).
- If you suspect problems with your appliances, call a licensed and bonded appliance repair technician or CenterPoint Energy's Customer Service.
- If CO is discovered, don't return to your home or building until the source is found and the problem corrected.
Get to fresh air and call 911.
For safety, purchase a CO detection device (some states require CO alarms to be installed and operable) with an audible alarm and a digital display and install within 10 feet of each lawfully used sleeping area. Look for the Underwriters Laboratories Standard 2034 (UL) stamp on the box and carefully follow the manufacturer's directions for operation, placement and maintenance. CO alarms EXPIRE. When installing, be sure to write down the date and replace per manufacturer recommendations. Most alarms expire from two to 10 years, depending upon the type of unit.
Stay Safe and Smart
Our interactive website features activities, games and videos to help increase awareness of natural gas safety, energy conservation and industry careers. Log on to
Natural gas makes holiday entertaining easier
Natural gas makes holiday entertaining easier with precision and control in the kitchen.
Enjoy this favorite recipe from Chef Virgil Emmert of the Oak Ridge Hotel and Conference Center, Chaska, Minn.
Butternut Squash Soup (serves 15)
5 pounds fresh butternut squash
¼ C honey
¾ gallon chicken stock
1 1/2 shallots, thinly sliced
¼ pound butter
1 ¾ C flour
1-2 fresh rosemary sprigs
Salt and pepper to taste
Cut squash in half, clean out seeds and smear with honey. Roast in 350 F oven for one hour or until soft.
In stock pot, melt butter; add sliced shallots and sauté until tender. Add flour and stir constantly.
Add 1/3 stock. Add squash and remaining stock and rosemary then simmer for 45 minutes.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Then, puree soup (removing rosemary first). Return to heat, put rosemary back into soup and simmer 15 minutes.
Season to taste and enjoy.