Summer’s a great time to “go mobile”
Whether you’re headed out of town this summer for a well-deserved vacation, or simply relaxing at home, reduce your bill-paying hassles by taking advantage of CenterPoint Energy's mobile self-service options:
- View a bill from anywhere, anytime
- Make an online payment
- Set up automatic payments
- Report a payment made at a CenterPoint Energy payment center
- Set up bill reminders for text or email
Learn more about how you can relax more wherever you are this summer
We’re helping combat scams against utility customers
CenterPoint Energy is taking part in a national campaign called Utilities United Against Scams by making our customers aware of telephone, mail, email, door-to-door and other in-person scams that rob victims of cash and/or their identity. In these scams, criminals pose as utility company representatives demanding immediate payment or personal information.
- Impersonating electric, natural gas and/or water company employees over the phone, in person or by other means.
- Targeting vulnerable demographics, including senior citizens and non-native English-speaking persons.
- Using advanced tactics, such as playing a telephone recording that sounds like a utility company’s phone system message or displaying a utility company’s name and logo in person.
- Threatening to disconnect or suspend utility service if immediate payment is not received.
While CenterPoint Energy bills customers for natural gas service, we will never call customers and threaten them with service disconnection.
If you believe that you have been contacted by a criminal impersonating an electric, natural gas or water company representative:
- Hang up the phone or close the door and call your utility company’s verified, direct phone number to verify a payment or amount due. You can find this number on your utility company’s website or on your utility bill. Request to see identification before allowing an employee or contractor near you or into your residence.
- Contact 911 if you feel your safety is threatened and report it to the local police. If the call is made to 911 first, the police have a better chance of immediately apprehending the perpetrator.
- After the call is placed to 911, please call and report the incident to the local utility provider and the Better Business Bureau that serves your state.
- Do not give the caller or visitor a prepaid card (such as a Green Dot card), a wire transfer or any other form of payment that may be difficult for law enforcement officials to trace. Customers should only use authorized methods and legitimate banking information to pay their bills.
- Ignore suspicious requests for personal information from an unverified source such as bank account numbers, user names and passwords, credit card numbers and Social Security numbers.
- Delete and block any emails from utilities that are not your service provider.
Outdoor time is better with natural gas appliances
Make the most out of summertime fun when you include the convenience of
natural gas appliances. Visit your local dealer or home improvement retailer to find the equipment you need to make the most out of summer.
- Grills: Backyard chef-duty is a lot easier with a natural gas grill. Forget about the hassle of charcoal or of dealing with heavy propane tanks. With a natural gas grill, chefs can simply flip a switch to access the natural gas directly from their home's natural gas service.
Outdoor lights: Brighten your home’s sidewalk, driveway, entryway, yard, deck or patio and pool area with the soft glow of natural gas lighting.
Pool and spa heaters: Extend the season’s outdoor fun with natural gas pool and spa heaters.
Save energy when it’s hot outside
- Newer dishwasher models are more energy-efficient than hand-washing. Let your dishes air dry to save more.
- Turn up your thermostat to 78 F when someone is home and up to 85 F when the house is going to be empty for several hours.
- Remember to replace your air-conditioner filters monthly to keep your system running at optimal efficiency.
It’s severe weather season – be prepared
Your reliable natural gas service is rarely affected by storms. But, if your home does get damaged, follow these safety tips:
- Do not turn off your natural gas service at the meter. Meters maintain proper line pressure and prevent water from entering pipes if flooding occurs.
- To cut off natural gas service, turn the gas off at each appliance.
- If your home was flooded, call a licensed plumber or gas appliance technician to inspect your appliances and gas piping to make sure they’re in good operating condition before calling CenterPoint Energy to reconnect service. This includes outdoor gas appliances, such as pool heaters, gas grills and gas lights.
- Before cleaning up debris, or to locate underground natural gas lines and other underground utility lines, call 811 – the national Call Before You Dig number – to ensure underground utilities are properly marked.
- Be aware of the location of your natural gas meter. As debris is put out for heavy trash pick-up, be sure it is placed away from your meter. In many areas, meters may be located near a curb. If debris is near a gas meter, the mechanized equipment used by trash collectors could pull up the meter, damage it and cause a potentially hazardous situation.
If you smell natural gas
- If you smell natural gas (smells like rotten eggs)
leave the area immediately on foot and tell others to leave as well.
- Do not turn lights on or off, smoke, strike a match, use a phone (including cell phones) or operate anything that might cause a spark, including a flashlight or generator.
- Once safely away from the area,
call 911 and then CenterPoint Energy.
Learn more about
Corporate Responsibility Report details our values and vision
At CenterPoint Energy, we take tremendous pride in the relationships and partnerships that we have formed in the communities we touch. In addition to our commitment to deliver safe and reliable energy, we actively engage in addressing the needs of the communities where we live and work. We do so by delivering on our vision and serving responsibly.
Our 2016 Corporate Responsibility Report showcases how we demonstrate these commitments in line with our company values and overall vision to lead the nation in delivering energy, service and value.
We invite you to learn more about who we are as a
CenterPoint Energy wants YOU to Stay Safe and Smart!
Safe and Smart with Buddy Blue FlameTM is a fun, interactive website for students of all ages, parents and teachers to learn about natural gas. The website features safety tips by age, from elementary through teens, videos, activity sheets and games designed to increase awareness of natural gas concepts and how to be safe around natural gas. Additional information about energy conservation and careers in the energy industry is also available.
Visit CenterPointEnergy.com/SafeandSmart to learn where natural gas comes from, how it is used and how to be safe and smart and smart around it.
Construction under way – get in the know
To better inform customers, municipalities and others impacted by CenterPoint Energy gas facilities construction activity, a construction activity website was developed in 2014. High profile projects are posted online and users are invited to subscribe to receive email or text alert updates about construction projects of interest to them, as well as other topics on natural gas safety.
If you have questions not answered on the website, please call the telephone numbers found on the website.
Stay in the know about activity in your area – whether near home or on your commute - subscribe today.
HeatShare and CenterPoint Energy team up to help couple in need
Thanks to generous donations to HeatShare from CenterPoint Energy’s customers and from the Salvation Army, a Minnesota couple – Tom and Shirley Giroux -- in a tough financial situation were able to have a new furnace installed just when they needed it most.
In the span of just a few months, their van broke down, their washer and dryer died and Shirley needed surgery. To top it off, their furnace completely failed and, between a part-time income and small disability payments, they simply didn’t have the financial cushion needed for repairs.
As a last ditch effort, they contacted the Salvation Army. Thanks to CenterPoint Energy customer donations, help was on the way. The Salvation Army, in cooperation with CenterPoint Energy, was able to offer a new furnace through HeatShare, a program designed to help people facing a utility shutoff or other energy emergency. Although funding a new furnace is rare, the program was able to offer this help. “Without this assistance, it would have been a big downward spiral. But things are looking up now,” said Tom.
HeatShare has been helping Minnesota families since 1982. Today the program provides $1.5 million worth of energy assistance to over 4,000 households in Minnesota, giving recipients an average of $370 to keep their homes warm.
full story here.