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CenterPoint Energy raises quarterly dividend 4%
Dividend increases from 18.25 cents to 19 cents per share

HOUSTON – January 22, 2009 – CenterPoint Energy, Inc.’s (NYSE:CNP) board of directors today declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.19 per share of common stock payable on March 10, 2009, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on February 16, 2009. This represents more than a four percent increase over the $0.1825 per common share quarterly dividends paid by the company in 2008.

"I am pleased to announce that for the fourth consecutive year, we are raising our dividend," said David M. McClanahan, president and chief executive officer of CenterPoint Energy. "This increase demonstrates a strong commitment to our shareholders and the confidence the board of directors has in our ability to deliver sustainable earnings and cash flow."

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 over $19 billion. With about 8,600 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 130 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 future events and other statements that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements. Factors that could affect actual results include the financial performance of CenterPoint Energy, the timing and impact of future regulatory decisions, and other factors discussed in CenterPoint Energy's Form 10-K for the period ended Dec. 31, 2007, and Form 10-Qs for the periods ended March 31, June 30, and September 30, 2008, and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.