Houston – March 16, 2020 – As a provider of essential energy services to customers across its footprint, CenterPoint Energy continues to monitor the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). During this time, the company is reassuring its customers that comprehensive plans and processes are in place to help ensure safe, reliable energy delivery to electricity customers across greater Houston and southwest Indiana, as well as to natural gas customers in Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma and Texas.
"We are committed to the safety and well-being of our customers, employees, contractors and communities as the Coronavirus situation continues to evolve," said John W. Somerhalder II , interim president and chief executive officer of CenterPoint Energy. "CenterPoint Energy has activated its Pandemic Preparedness Plan and we continue to monitor updates and follow protocols from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO) and state and local officials. We are also working closely with all regulatory agencies, government entities and emergency management organizations across our service territory to help ensure uninterrupted electricity and natural gas service delivery to our customers."
CenterPoint Energy will support customers who may need
payment assistance, arrangements or extensions during the Coronavirus situation. In addition, the company has temporarily suspended natural gas service disconnections for nonpayment. For customers in southwest Indiana, this includes the temporary suspension of electric service disconnections.
CenterPoint Energy has implemented additional measures to protect the safety and health of its customers, employees and contractors, as well as to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. These safety measures include:
- Equipping employees with hand sanitizer in their vehicles as well as latex gloves and shoe covers – in addition to standard protective equipment;
- Directing field employees to attempt to resolve service issues without entering homes or businesses;
- Following social distancing guidelines and wearing protective equipment if entering customers' homes and businesses to provide service;
- Implementing a telework approach for employees who can perform their job responsibilities from home or a remote location;
- Increasing cleaning and disinfecting frequency of facilities and vehicles;
- Leveraging technology to minimize face-to-face contact and meetings;
- Emphasizing good hygiene, including washing and sanitizing hands;
- Requiring employees to stay home if they are feeling sick;
- Suspending international air travel and non-essential domestic air travel; and
- Minimizing contact with visitors and others at company facilities.
CenterPoint Energy continues to provide regular updates to its employees and has established a Coronavirus information page on the company's intranet site, with resources and current prevention recommendations from official sources, such as the CDC and WHO.