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CenterPoint Energy to receive $200 million federal stimulus grant to accelerate current smart meter project and begin building intelligent grid

Houston, TX - Oct. 27, 2009 - CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (NYSE:CNP) announced that its electric transmission and distribution subsidiary, CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric LLC, has been notified by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) that it has been granted a $200 million award for its advanced metering system and intelligent grid projects. This award is contingent on successful negotiation with the DOE.

“We are very pleased that the DOE has agreed to help fund the deployment of our advanced metering system and the development of the intelligent grid,” said Tom Standish, group president of Regulated Operations for CenterPoint Energy. “These funds will reduce the amount that Houston-area electric consumers will have to pay for this significant upgrade to our electric grid.”

CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric will use $150 million of the grant to accelerate its current smart meter and associated equipment installation that make up its Advanced Metering System (AMS). The remaining $50 million will be used to accelerate the installation of the first phase of CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric’s Intelligent Grid that utilizes the AMS and other technologies to build a self-healing grid, and improve operational efficiency and reliability.

CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric’s smart meter deployment began in March 2009, and the company reached a significant milestone earlier this month with the installation and integration of 100,000 fully functional smart meters. By the end of the year, 145,000 smart meters will be installed along with the necessary communications infrastructure and computing systems. More than 2 million smart meters are expected to be installed system-wide by the project’s completion in 2012 with the aid of the federal grant money.

Visit CenterPointEnergy.com/EnergyInSight for the latest information on the company’s current smart meter program.

CenterPoint Energy, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission & 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 $19 billion. With about 8,800 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 135 years. For more information, visit the Web site at www.CenterPointEnergy.com.

This news release includes forward-looking statements. Actual events and results may differ materially from those projected. The statements in this news release regarding the offering and the use of proceeds thereof are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties including market conditions, changes in CenterPoint Energy’s business plans and other factors discussed in CenterPoint Energy’s Form 10-K for the period ended December 31, 2008, CenterPoint Energy’s Form 10-Q for the period ended March 31, 2009, CenterPoint Energy’s Form 10-Q for the period ended June 30, 2009, and CenterPoint Energy’s other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

CNP awarded $200 million DOE grant