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CenterPoint Energy Joins Effort to Stop Utility Scams

CenterPoint Energy is participating in Utilities United Against Scams to help promote awareness and prevention of an increase in scamming incidents targeting utility customers. Residential and business customers should be on alert for 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.
 
To avoid falling victim to utility schemes, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) advises the following:​

  • 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.
  • 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.​

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Are You Ready for Winter?​

The best ways to manage your natural gas bill this winter:​

  • ​​Enroll in our Average Monthly Billing program, which evens out your bills throughout the heating season.
  • Make simple, inexpensive changes around your home to reduce energy usage with our free My Energy Analyzer online tool.
  • If you or someone you know needs help paying their bill this winter, please contact us immediately.​​

​Add Comfort and Style This Holiday Season

Warm up the look and feel of your holidays with natural gas logs and fireplaces. These products are convenient, powered by energy-efficient natural gas, clean and easy to maintain.
 
Learn more about natural gas logs and fireplaces​ and add the warm glow of natural gas to your home today.

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The Blue Flame Rule

The flame on a natural gas appliance should always burn blue, not orange or yellow which would indicate incomplete combustion and the possible need for appliance adjusting or cleaning. Remember, natural gas appliances should always be checked and adjusted by a qualified service technician. Natural gas fireplace logs are an exception to the blue flame rule. Most of these products are designed to operate with a yellow or orange flame to achieve a more realistic appearance. However, any time they are used, the fireplace damper should be open.

Gas Safety is Our Priority

Safety is CenterPoint Energy’s number one priority. We are committed to the safe and reliable operation of pipelines in all of our communities. CenterPoint Energy spends millions of dollars annually to modernize and protect our pipelines from threats like corrosion and third-party damage. We will spend more than $2 billion dollars of capital from 2016 to 2020 to further modernize our system.
 
We perform leak surveys using the latest leak detection technology on all of our pipelines at intervals that meet or exceed state and federal regulations. Any hazardous leaks found are repaired immediately.
 
And, we odorize the natural gas in our pipelines with a smell similar to rotten eggs to help alert the general public about the presence of a natural gas leak.
 
Always report a suspected leak or smell of natural gas to us at our emergency gas leak line​ for your area.      

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Employee Volunteerism is Invaluable

Every year, CenterPoint Energy employees generously give their time and talents to community service projects and organizations across our service territory. Last year, those hours added up to 203,000 – an amount of time valued at $4.7 million. Learn what CenterPoint Energy employees are doing in your community​.

Stay Safe and Smart

Our new all-ages interactive website features activities, games and videos to help increase awareness of natural gas safety, energy conservation and industry careers. Log on to CenterPointEnergy.com/SafeandSmart today.

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Are You Energy-Efficiency Smart?

How much can you save on your heating bills for every one degree you set your thermostat back?
  1. ​​​​1 to 2 percent
  2. 3 to 5 percent
  3. 6 to 7 percent
  4. 8 to 10 percent
Find the answer in next month’s issue of TouchPoint​.