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CenterPoint Energy restores power to 723,000 customers
Company projects 50-75 percent of customers restored by Sept. 23, Next news release Wednesday morning

Houston – Sept. 16, 2008 – CenterPoint Energy reported that as of 8 p.m., the company had restored power to 723,000 customers, leaving 1.43 million, or 63 percent of the company’s customers, still without power. Based on new damage assessment data, the company projects that in the next seven days it will have restored power to 50 to 75 percent of those customers who lost power from Hurricane Ike.

“Using our computer restoration model which is based on historical data and damage assessment data collected during inspections of the area, we are confident that we will have power restored to as much as 75 percent of our customers next week,” said Kenny Mercado, CenterPoint Energy’s senior vice president of Electric Operations. “As we gather and enter additional information, we will soon be able to project restoration times for specific geographic areas.”

With the addition of 2,000 mutual assistance utility workers expected tomorrow, a total of 8,000 linemen and tree trimmers from 31 states and Canada will be assisting CenterPoint Energy’s 3,000 employees. All will work around the clock until the power is fully restored.

The company continues to ask customers NOT to call the company switchboard to report outages. Through the company's outage analysis system and ties between the customer information system and call center operations, CenterPoint Energy dispatchers know when service outages occur, the locations of outages and the number of customers affected.