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CenterPoint Energy awards communities in Minnesota Mutual Assistance Grants
Company awards $5,000 total in grants to Benson and Morris for safety equipment

MINNEAPOLIS – December 5, 2011 – CenterPoint Energy presented both the cities of Benson and Morris with a $2,500 Mutual Assistance Grant, in appreciation of their outstanding support and assistance during the company’s response in September to a natural gas outage affecting approximately 3,600 customers. The outage was caused when a piece of farm equipment hit a Northern Natural Gas pipeline (Northern) impacting the towns of Benson, Hancock and Morris.  Northern is CenterPoint Energy’s natural gas supplier.

“In the unlikely event of an outage, our top priority is the safety of the public as we work to restore natural gas service as quickly as possible,” said Scott Lehner, area manager for CenterPoint Energy in Morris.  “Presenting these grants is our way of expressing our gratitude to those individuals who went above and beyond the call of duty to accommodate the needs of our employees as we worked to restore service to our customers.”

Roger Brandel, area manager for CenterPoint Energy in Benson added, “Both the cities of Benson and Morris provided command posts at City Hall and access to necessary office and communication equipment. The assistance and cooperation of city employees, emergency managers, police and fire department personnel was extraordinary and with their help and hard work, we were able to quickly restore natural gas service to the affected communities.”

To see what CenterPoint Energy is doing in the community, please visit CenterPointEnergy.com/community.

CenterPoint Energy, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission and distribution, natural gas distribution, competitive natural gas sales and services, interstate pipelines and field services operations. The company serves more than five million metered customers primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas. Assets total nearly $21 billion.  With about 8,800 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 135 years. In Minnesota, CenterPoint Energy is the state’s largest natural gas distribution utility, serving about 800,000 customers in 260 communities. The utility also operates a non-regulated business in Minnesota called Home Service Plus®. For more information, visit CenterPointEnergy.com.