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CenterPoint Energy Reports Second Quarter 2010 Earnings

Houston, TX - August 4, 2010 - CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (NYSE: CNP) today reported net income of $81 million, or $0.20 per diluted share, for the second quarter of 2010 compared to $86 million, or $0.24 per diluted share, for the same period of 2009. Operating income for the second quarter of 2010 was $263 million compared to $253 million for the same period of 2009.

“I am pleased with our operating performance this quarter,” said David M. McClanahan, president and chief executive officer of CenterPoint Energy. “Our electric and natural gas distribution businesses recorded solid results and we benefited from the investments that we have made in our interstate pipeline and field services segments. The continued stability of our regulated utilities, together with opportunities to invest in energy infrastructure projects, position us well for the future.”

For the six months ended June 30, 2010, net income was $195 million, or $0.49 per diluted share, compared to $153 million, or $0.44 per diluted share, for the same period of 2009. Operating income for the six months ended June 30, 2010, was $620 million compared to $538 million for the same period of 2009.

OPERATING INCOME BY SEGMENT

Electric Transmission & Distribution

The electric transmission & distribution segment reported operating income of $158 million for the second quarter of 2010, consisting of $122 million from the regulated electric transmission & distribution utility operations (TDU) and $36 million related to transition and system restoration bonds. Operating income for the second quarter of 2009 was $162 million, consisting of $129 million from the TDU and $33 million related to transition bonds. Operating income for the TDU benefited from growth of over 21,000 metered customers since June 2009 and slightly higher usage, which were more than offset by increased operation and maintenance expenses, in part due to higher labor and benefit costs, higher net transmission costs and reduced revenue associated with a credit to customers’ bills to reflect the benefit of deferred taxes after Hurricane Ike.

Operating income for the six months ended June 30, 2010, was $265 million, consisting of $193 million from the TDU and $72 million related to transition and system restoration bonds. Operating income for the same period of 2009 was $232 million, consisting of $166 million from the TDU and $66 million related to transition bonds.

Natural Gas Distribution

The natural gas distribution segment reported operating income of $10 million for the second quarter of 2010 compared to $2 million for the same period of 2009. Operating income benefited from rate changes, higher non-volumetric revenues and lower operation and maintenance expenses resulting primarily from reduced bad debt expense. These benefits were partially offset by lower system throughput.

Operating income for the six months ended June 30, 2010, was $149 million compared to $120 million for the same period of 2009.

Interstate Pipelines

The interstate pipelines segment reported operating income of $67 million for the second quarter of 2010 compared to $61 million for the same period of 2009. Operating income increased due to higher revenue from new firm contracts primarily associated with Phase IV of the Carthage to Perryville pipeline as well as lower operation and maintenance expenses, partially offset by reduced revenues from off-system sales and ancillary services.

In addition to operating income, this segment recorded equity income of $4 million for the second quarter of 2010 primarily from its 50 percent interest in the Southeast Supply Header (SESH) compared to $9 million for the second quarter of 2009, which included $5 million related to a reduction in estimated property tax and a one-time fee received in connection with the construction of the pipeline.

Operating income for the six months ended June 30, 2010, was $139 million compared to $130 million for the same period of 2009. In addition to operating income, this segment recorded equity income of $7 million for the six months ended June 30, 2010 primarily from its 50 percent interest in the Southeast Supply Header (SESH) compared to $7 million for the six months ended June 30, 2009, which included a non-cash charge of $5 million to reflect SESH’s discontinued use of regulatory accounting and $5 million related to a property tax reduction and a one-time receipt of a construction fee.

Field Services

The field services segment reported operating income of $31 million for the second quarter of 2010 compared to $23 million for the same period of 2009. Revenue growth from higher gathering volumes and higher commodity prices was partially offset by increased operation and maintenance expenses primarily related to facility expansions.

In addition to operating income, this business had equity income of $3 million in the second quarter of 2010 compared to $2 million in the second quarter of 2009 from its 50 percent interest in a gas processing plant.

Operating income for the six months ended June 30, 2010, was $54 million compared to $49 million for the same period of 2009. Equity income from the jointly-owned gas processing plant was $5 million for the six months ended June 30, 2010, compared to $4 million for the same period of 2009.

Competitive Natural Gas Sales and Services

The competitive natural gas sales and services segment reported an operating loss of $6 million for the second quarter of 2010 compared to operating income of $6 million for the same period of 2009. Operating income for the second quarter of 2010 included charges of $8 million resulting from mark-to-market accounting for derivatives associated with certain forward natural gas purchases and sales used to lock in economic margins compared to gains of $3 million for the same period of 2009.

Operating income for the six months ended June 30, 2010, was $9 million compared to $8 million for the same period of 2009. Operating income for the six months ended June 30, 2010, included charges of $5 million resulting from mark-to-market accounting compared to charges of $16 million for the same period of 2009. The six months ended June 30, 2009 also included a $6 million write-down of natural gas inventory to the lower of average cost or market.

DIVIDEND DECLARATION

On July 22, 2010, CenterPoint Energy’s board of directors declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.195 per share of common stock payable on September 10, 2010, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on August 16, 2010.

OUTLOOK REAFFIRMED FOR 2010

CenterPoint Energy reaffirmed its 2010 earnings guidance of $1.02 to $1.12 per diluted share. This guidance takes into consideration performance to date, equity issuances and various economic and operational assumptions related to the business segments in which the company operates. The company has made certain assumptions regarding the timing and cost of financing activities and the impact to earnings of various regulatory proceedings. In providing this guidance, the company has not included the impact of any changes in accounting standards, increased taxes recorded in the first quarter of 2010 as a result of recent health care legislation, any impact from acquisitions or divestitures, the timing effects of mark-to-market or inventory accounting in the company’s competitive natural gas sales and services business, or the outcome of the TDU’s true-up appeal. The company has also excluded any impact to income from the change in value of Time Warner stocks and the related ZENS securities. For the impact of these factors on the company’s earnings for the three months and six months ended June 30, 2010, see the attached reconciliation.

FILING OF FORM 10-Q FOR CENTERPOINT ENERGY, INC.

Today, CenterPoint Energy, Inc. filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the period ended June 30, 2010. A copy of that report is available on the company’s Web site, www.CenterPointEnergy.com, under the Investors section. Other filings the company makes with the SEC and other documents relating to its corporate governance can also be found on that site.

WEBCAST OF EARNINGS CONFERENCE CALL

CenterPoint Energy’s management will host an earnings conference call on Wednesday, August 4, 2010, at 10:30 a.m. Central time or 11:30 a.m. Eastern time. Interested parties may listen to a live audio broadcast of the conference call at www.CenterPointEnergy.com. A replay of the call can be accessed approximately two hours after the completion of the call and will be archived on the Web site for at least one year.

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 8,800 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 company’s earnings outlook for 2010 and future financial performance and results of operations, and other statements that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements. Factors that could affect actual results include the timing and outcome of appeals from the true-up proceedings, the timing and impact of future regulatory, legislative, and IRS decisions, effects of competition, weather variations, changes in CenterPoint Energy’s or its subsidiaries’ business plans, financial market conditions, the timing and extent of changes in natural gas and natural gas liquids prices, the impact of unplanned facility outages, and other factors discussed in CenterPoint Energy’s and its subsidiaries’ Forms 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2009, CenterPoint  Energy’s and its subsidiaries’ Forms 10-Q for the period ended March 31, 2010, CenterPoint Energy’s Form 10-Q for the period ended June 30, 2010, and other filings with the SEC.

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