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CenterPoint Energy encourages Houstonians to report drought-affected trees threatening power lines

 HOUSTON – October 12, 2011 – With trees all over the Greater Houston area stressed from current drought conditions, CenterPoint Energy is encouraging electric consumers to report any dead or dying trees that could pose a threat to power lines.

CenterPoint Energy will assess reported concerns and consider cutting down the affected trees if they are posing a threat to the company’s electrical delivery equipment. Although CenterPoint Energy may cut the tree down at no cost, the property owner is responsible for disposing of the debris left on site.

To report a dead or dying tree posing a threat to a power line, consumers should call CenterPoint Energy at 713-207-2222 or 1-800-332-7143. A company representative will inspect the tree to determine if it requires removal. Consumers should never attempt to remove any tree next to a power line by themselves.

Tree contact with power lines is the most common cause of power outages. To maintain safety and electric reliability, CenterPoint Energy trims up to one million trees per year, adhering to American National Standards Institute pruning standards. The Arbor Day Foundation has recognized the company’s tree trimming program with its Tree Line USA designation for seven straight years.

Visit CenterPointEnergy.com/trees for tips on tree care during a drought, as well as a list of power line-friendly species and tree planting tips.

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 more than $19 billion. With over 8,800 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 135 years. For more information, visit the company’s website at CenterPointEnergy.com