CenterPoint EnergyIntroducing the smart meterIntroducing the smart meter
 
CenterPoint Energy gives consumers with smart meters more control over their electricity use
Consortium of Texas utilities launches Smart Meter Texas portal
Houston, TX – March 23, 2010 – CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric, LLC, a subsidiary of CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (NYSE:CNP),  joined other electric transmission and distribution utilities (TDUs) in Texas to launch the Smart Meter Texas common portal and data repository, which will give consumers in Texas with smart meters more control over their electricity use.

CenterPoint Energy has installed and tested more than 157,000 smart meters for residential and business consumers in Houston, and these consumers can now view their electric usage history down to 15-minute intervals at www.SmartMeterTexas.com.  The company has installed an additional 111,000 smart meters which are in the process of being tested.

The Web portal developed and operated by IBM on behalf of CenterPoint Energy and other Texas TDUs, including Oncor and American Electric Power, will serve as a single repository of usage data for customers with smart meters in the service territories of these utilities.

"This is a significant milestone in our smart energy technology strategy," said Kenny Mercado, division senior vice president, Advanced Metering System Deployment for CenterPoint Energy. "Access to near real-time usage data is a major step to help consumers make smart energy decisions.

“Within 60 days of the smart meter installation, following a testing and acceptance period, consumers can register to view their usage down to 15-minute intervals,” continued Mercado.  “For the first time ever, consumers won’t have to wait for their monthly bill to see how much electricity they have consumed.  They’ll be able to see what time of day, what time of week and what time of year they use the most electricity.”

The Smart Meter Texas portal also allows retail electric providers (REPs) to access their smart meter customers’ usage information to support retail offerings such as energy analysis tools, time-of-use rates, and pre-paid service. Through the portal, REPs can also connect Home Area Network devices to smart meters that will help customers better manage their electricity use by remotely controlling smart electric appliances and thermostats, which are under development by a number of manufacturers.

Since March 2009, CenterPoint Energy has installed more than 267,000 smart electric meters along with supporting communications infrastructure and computing systems as part of a multi-year plan to deploy more than 2 million smart meters across the company’s entire electric service territory in greater Houston. Upon completion of negotiations with the U.S. Department of Energy for a $200 million stimulus grant, the company will accelerate its smart meter deployment from five years to three and begin building a self-healing Intelligent Grid that will utilize smart meters and other technologies to improve operational efficiency and electric reliability.

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 $20 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 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, and other filings with the SEC.

Smart Meters
 Smart meters show near-real-time usage