CenterPoint Energy reports first quarter 2017 earnings of $0.44 per diluted share; $0.37 per diluted share on a guidance basis
2017-05-05T10:30:00Z
  • Company reiterates 2017 EPS guidance of $1.25 - $1.33 as decoupling and weather normalization adjustments help mitigate impact of an extremely warm winter; Potential $250 million increase to the 5-year capital plan with Freeport, Texas electric transmission expansion proposal submitted to ERCOT to serve growing petrochemical industry

Houston – May 5, 2017 - CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (NYSE: CNP) today reported net income of $192 million, or $0.44 per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2017, compared with $154 million, or $0.36 per diluted share for the same period of the prior year. On a guidance basis, first quarter 2017 earnings were $0.37 per diluted share, consisting of $0.27 from utility operations and $0.10 from midstream investments. First quarter 2016 earnings on a guidance basis were $0.32 per diluted share, consisting of $0.23 from utility operations and $0.09 from midstream investments. 

Operating income for the first quarter of 2017 was $274 million, compared with $250 million in the first quarter of the prior year. Equity income from midstream investments was $72 million for the first quarter of 2017, compared with $60 million for the first quarter of the prior year.

The company continues to execute its rate recovery strategy. Recent developments include a $16.5 million settlement for Natural Gas Distribution’s Houston and Texas Coast division’s rate case, which is anticipated to become effective during the second quarter; a $9.3 million Formula Rate Plan (FRP) adjustment proposed in Arkansas; and a $44.6 million annual Distribution Cost Recovery Factor (DCRF) increase proposed by Houston Electric.

“We are off to a strong start this year despite a challenging winter,” said Scott M. Prochazka, president and chief executive officer of CenterPoint Energy. “Continued growth across our service territories, rate recovery and Midstream’s performance all contributed to the EPS gains we delivered this quarter.”

Business Segments

Electric Transmission & Distribution

The electric transmission & distribution segment reported operating income of $78 million for the first quarter of 2017, consisting of $58 million from the regulated electric transmission & distribution utility operations (TDU) and $20 million related to securitization bonds. Operating income for the first quarter of 2016 was $83 million, consisting of $59 million from the TDU and $24 million related to securitization bonds.

Operating income for the TDU benefited primarily from rate relief and customer growth. These benefits were more than offset by higher depreciation and amortization expense, lower equity return and lower usage, primarily due to milder weather. 

Natural Gas Distribution

The natural gas distribution segment reported operating income of $164 million for the first quarter of 2017, compared with $160 million for the same period of 2016. Operating income benefited from rate relief, a one-time Minnesota property tax refund and customer growth.  These increases were partially offset by lower usage due to milder weather and higher depreciation and amortization expense.      

Energy Services

The energy services segment reported operating income of $35 million for the first quarter of 2017, which included a mark-to-market gain of $15 million, compared with $6 million for the same period in 2016, which included a mark-to-market loss of $9 million. Excluding mark-to-market adjustments, operating income was $20 million for the first quarter of 2017 compared with $15 million for the same period of 2016. The $5 million increase in operating income was primarily due to an increase of throughput and number of customers related to the acquisitions in the past 12 months of both Atmos Energy Marketing and the energy service business of Continuum.   

Midstream Investments

The midstream investments segment reported $72 million of equity income for the first quarter of 2017, compared with $60 million in the first quarter of the prior year. 

Capital Plan Update

As previously announced on Jan. 6, 2017, the company expects to spend $1.5 billion in capital this year. Houston Electric expects to invest $922 million to support sustained customer growth, reliability and safety. Natural Gas Distribution expects to invest $534 million to accommodate continued growth and pipe replacement needs in its six-state service territory. 

On April 3, 2017, the company submitted a proposal to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas requesting endorsement for a $250 million transmission project to meet the load of the growing petrochemical industry in the Freeport, Texas area. Capital expenditures for the project would be incremental to the 5-year capital plan disclosed in the 2016 Form 10-K.

Earnings Outlook

On a consolidated basis, CenterPoint Energy reaffirms its earnings estimate for 2017 in the range of $1.25 - $1.33 per diluted share. This guidance includes anticipated utility operations earnings of $0.93 - $0.97 per diluted share and anticipated midstream investment earnings of $0.31 - $0.37 per diluted share.

The utility operations guidance range considers performance to date and certain significant variables that may impact earnings, such as weather, regulatory and judicial proceedings, throughput, commodity prices, effective tax rates, and financing activities.

In providing this guidance, the company uses a non-GAAP measure of adjusted diluted earnings per share that does not consider other potential impacts, such as changes in accounting standards or unusual items, earnings or losses from the change in the value of the ZENS securities and the related stocks, or the timing effects of mark-to-market accounting in the company's Energy Services business. 

In providing guidance for midstream investments, the company assumes ownership of 54.1 percent of the common and subordinated units representing limited partner interests in Enable Midstream and includes the amortization of CenterPoint Energy's basis differential in Enable Midstream. CenterPoint Energy's guidance takes into account such factors as Enable Midstream's most recent public outlook for 2017 dated May 3, 2017, and effective tax rates. The company does not include other potential impacts, such as any changes in accounting standards or Enable Midstream's unusual items. 

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 March 31, 2017. A copy of that report is available on the company's website, under the Investors section. Other filings the company makes with the SEC and certain documents relating to its corporate governance can also be found under the Investors section. 

Webcast of Earnings Conference Call

CenterPoint Energy's management will host an earnings conference call on Friday, May 5, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. Central time / 11:00 a.m. Eastern time. Interested parties may listen to a live audio broadcast of the conference call on the company's website under the Investors section. A replay of the call can be accessed approximately two hours after the completion of the call and will be archived on the website 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 and energy services operations. The company serves more than five million metered customers primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas. The company also owns 54.1 percent of the common and subordinated units representing limited partner interests in Enable Midstream Partners, a publicly traded master limited partnership it jointly controls with OGE Energy Corp.,  which owns, operates and develops natural gas and crude oil infrastructure assets. With more than 7,700 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 150 years. For more information, go to www.CenterPointEnergy.com.

This news release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based upon assumptions of management which are believed to be reasonable at the time made and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties.  Actual events and results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Any statements in this news release regarding future earnings, and future financial performance and results of operations, including, but not limited to earnings guidance, targeted dividend growth rate and any other statements that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements. Each forward-looking statement contained in this news release speaks only as of the date of this release. Factors that could affect actual results include (1) state and federal legislative and regulatory actions or developments affecting various aspects of CenterPoint Energy's businesses (including the businesses of Enable Midstream Partners (Enable Midstream)), including, among others, energy deregulation or re-regulation, pipeline integrity and safety, health care reform, financial reform, tax legislation, and actions regarding the rates charged by CenterPoint Energy's regulated businesses; (2) state and federal legislative and regulatory actions or developments relating to the environment, including those related to global climate change; (3) recording of non-cash goodwill, long-lived asset or other than temporary impairment charges by or related to Enable Midstream; (4) timely and appropriate rate actions that allow recovery of costs and a reasonable return on investment; (5) the timing and outcome of any audits, disputes or other proceedings related to taxes; (6) problems with construction, implementation of necessary technology or other issues with respect to major capital projects that result in delays or in cost overruns that cannot be recouped in rates; (7) industrial, commercial and residential growth in CenterPoint Energy's service territories and changes in market demand, including the effects of energy efficiency measures and demographic patterns; (8) the timing and extent of changes in commodity prices, particularly natural gas and natural gas liquids, and the effects of geographic and seasonal commodity price differentials, and the impact of commodity changes on producer related activities; (9) weather variations and other natural phenomena, including the impact on operations and capital from severe weather events; (10) any direct or indirect effects on CenterPoint Energy's facilities, operations and financial condition resulting from terrorism, cyber-attacks, data security breaches or other attempts to disrupt its businesses or the businesses of third parties, or other catastrophic events; (11) the impact of unplanned facility outages; (12) timely and appropriate regulatory actions allowing securitization or other recovery of costs associated with any future hurricanes or natural disasters; (13) changes in interest rates or rates of inflation; (14) commercial bank and financial market conditions, CenterPoint Energy's access to capital, the cost of such capital, and the results of its financing and refinancing efforts, including availability of funds in the debt capital markets; (15) actions by credit rating agencies; (16) effectiveness of CenterPoint Energy's risk management activities; (17) inability of various counterparties to meet their obligations; (18) non-payment for services due to financial distress of

CenterPoint Energy's and Enable Midstream's customers; (19) the ability of GenOn Energy, Inc. (formerly known as RRI Energy, Inc.), a wholly owned subsidiary of NRG Energy, Inc., and its subsidiaries to satisfy their obligations to CenterPoint Energy and its subsidiaries; (20) the ability of retail electric providers, and particularly the largest customers of the TDU, to satisfy their obligations

to CenterPoint Energy and its subsidiaries; (21) the outcome of litigation; (22) CenterPoint Energy's ability to control costs, invest planned capital, or execute growth projects; (23) the investment performance of pension and postretirement benefit plans; (24) potential business strategies, including restructurings, joint ventures, and acquisitions or dispositions of assets or businesses, for which no assurance can be given that they will be completed or will provide the anticipated benefits to CenterPoint Energy; (25) acquisition and merger activities and successful integration of such activities, involving CenterPoint Energy, Enable Midstream or their competitors; (26) the ability to recruit, effectively transition and retain management and key employees and maintain good labor relations; (27) future economic conditions in regional and national markets and their effects on sales, prices and costs; (28) the performance of Enable Midstream, the amount of cash distributions CenterPoint Energy receives from Enable Midstream, and the value of its interest in Enable Midstream, and factors that may have a material impact on such performance, cash distributions and value, including certain of the factors specified above and: (A) the integration of the operations of the businesses contributed to Enable Midstream; (B) the achievement of anticipated operational and commercial synergies and expected growth opportunities, and the successful implementation of  Enable Midstream's business plan; (C) competitive conditions in the midstream industry, and actions taken by Enable Midstream's customers and competitors, including the extent and timing of the entry of additional competition in the markets served by Enable Midstream; (D) the timing and extent of changes in the supply of natural gas and associated commodity prices, particularly natural gas and natural gas liquids, the competitive effects of the available pipeline capacity in the regions served by Enable Midstream, and the effects of geographic and seasonal commodity price differentials, including the effects of these circumstances on re-contracting available capacity on Enable Midstream's interstate pipelines; (E) the demand for crude oil, natural gas, NGLs and transportation and storage services; (F) changes in tax status; (G) access to growth capital; and (H) the availability and prices of raw materials for current and future construction projects; (29) effective tax rate; (30) the effect of changes in and application of accounting standards and pronouncements; (31) other factors discussed in CenterPoint Energy's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016, as well as in CenterPoint Energy's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2017 and other reports CenterPoint Energy or its subsidiaries may file from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures by CenterPoint Energy in Providing Guidance

In addition to presenting its financial results in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), including presentation of net income and diluted earnings per share, CenterPoint Energy also provides guidance based on adjusted net income and adjusted diluted earnings per share, which are non-GAAP financial measures. Generally, a non-GAAP financial measure is a numerical measure of a company's historical or future financial performance that excludes or includes amounts that are not normally excluded or included in the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure. CenterPoint Energy's adjusted net income and adjusted diluted earnings per share calculation excludes from net income and diluted earnings per share, respectively, the impact of ZENS and related securities and mark-to-market gains or losses resulting from the company's Energy Services business.  CenterPoint Energy is unable to present a quantitative reconciliation of forward looking adjusted net income and adjusted diluted earnings per share because changes in the value of ZENS and related securities and mark-to-market gains or losses resulting from the company's Energy Services business are not estimable.

Management evaluates the company's financial performance in part based on adjusted net income and adjusted diluted earnings per share.  We believe that presenting these non-GAAP financial measures enhances an investor's understanding of CenterPoint Energy's overall financial performance by providing them with an additional meaningful and relevant comparison of current and anticipated future results across periods.  The adjustments made in these non-GAAP financial measures exclude items that Management believes does not most accurately reflect the company's fundamental business performance.  These excluded items are reflected in the reconciliation tables of this news release, where applicable. CenterPoint Energy's adjusted net income and adjusted diluted earnings per share non-GAAP financial measures should be considered as a supplement to, and not as a substitute for, or superior to, net income and diluted earnings per share, which respectively are the most directly comparable GAAP financial measures.  These non-GAAP financial measures also may be different than non-GAAP financial measures used by other companies.

 

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CenterPoint Energy awards grants to communities for safety initiatives

Minneapolis– June 14, 2018 – CenterPoint Energy's Community Partnership Grant Program awards grants to local communities to fund safety-related equipment and projects. This year, the company recently awarded 70 grants to community organizations in Minnesota totaling $125,000. Recipients will use these grants to serve their local communities.

"Safety is one of CenterPoint Energy's values. Over the past 15 years, we have contributed more than $1.5 million to safety initiatives in our communities," said Dean Headlee, pipeline safety and compliance manager of CenterPoint Energy. "Our Community Partnership Grant program not only helps us stay connected to the communities we serve, but also gives us an opportunity to impact lives by helping them stay safe."

Rachel Shields, community relations program manager of CenterPoint Energy, said, "CenterPoint Energy has funded nearly 900 safety projects since 2003. This year, our Community Partnership Grant program will provide portable defibrillators for first responders, safety equipment for local fire departments and traffic safety equipment."

Winners were determined based on the content of their applications. Participants were required to outline a problem, issue or need in the community and how a Community Partnership Grant would help create a sustainable solution.

To see what CenterPoint Energy is doing in the community, please visit our 2017 Corporate Responsibility Report. Please see the following list of communities that received Community Partnership Grants.

​North MetroSouth Metro
  • Andover
  • Anoka
  • Big Lake
  • Brooklyn Center
  • Carlos
  • Cold Spring
  • Columbia Heights
  • Columbus
  • Coon Rapids
  • Corcoran
  • Dassel
  • Freeport
  • Garrison
  • Genola
  • Glencoe
  • Glenwood
  • Golden Valley
  • Grove City
  • Hector
  • Independence
  • Lexington
  • Little Falls
  • Mayer
  • Medina
  • Melrose
  • Milaca
  • Minnetonka Beach
  • New Germany
  • Osakis
  • Pennock
  • Pierz
  • Plato
  • Plymouth
  • Ramsey
  • Richmond
  • Rockville
  • Rogers
  • Sauk Centre
  • South Haven
  • St. Bonifacius
  • St. Michael
  • Willmar
  • Wayzata
  • Apple Valley
  • Belle Plaine
  • Chaska
  • Cologne
  • Eagle Lake
  • Hampton
  • Hopkins
  • Janesville
  • Lake Crystal
  • Lake Elmo
  • LeCenter
  • Lonsdale
  • Medford
  • Miesville
  • Minnetrista
  • Morristown
  • North Mankato
  • Norwood Young America
  • Prior Lake
  • Randolph
  • Rosemount
  • Savage
  • Sleepy Eye
  • St. Peter
  • Tonka Bay
  • Victoria
  • Waseca

 

CenterPoint Energy, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission & distribution, natural gas distribution and energy services operations. The company serves more than five million metered customers primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas. The company also owns 54.1 percent of the common and subordinated units representing limited partner interests in Enable Midstream Partners, a publicly traded master limited partnership it jointly controls with OGE Energy Corp., which owns, operates and develops natural gas and crude oil infrastructure assets. With nearly 8,000 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 150 years. The utility also operates a non-regulated business in Minnesota called Home Service Plus®.  For more information, please visit CenterPointEnergy.com.

 

CenterPoint Energy and HomeServe USA partner to provide home protection services to customers

Houston – June 13, 2018 – CenterPoint Energy (NYSE: CNP) and HomeServe USA Corp. (HomeServe), a provider of emergency home repair programs to homeowners nationwide, today announced a new partnership through which CenterPoint Energy's natural gas customers in Texas will be able to purchase service plans for several household systems.

CenterPoint Energy and HomeServe's new program will offer a suite of service plans covering repairs to several energy-consuming and other home systems, including customer-owned natural gas lines, heating and cooling systems, interior electric wiring, water heaters, and exterior water and sewer lines. The service plans are designed to protect homeowners from the inconvenience and unexpected expenses associated with repairs to these critical household systems. The initial rollout will include protection for customer-owned natural gas lines and cooling systems, and will be available later this summer.

"CenterPoint Energy prides itself on being a trusted energy advisor, so we are pleased to work with HomeServe to provide our customers access to these new valuable services," said Gregg Knight, senior vice president and Chief Customer Officer of CenterPoint Energy. "CenterPoint Energy provides high-quality, highly rated energy delivery to our customers. These new service plans are a natural extension and will provide homeowners with a low-cost, peace-of mind option for unexpected repairs to covered systems."

The Gas Line service plan, for example, will offer homeowners protection against the expense and inconvenience of repairs to the customer-owned natural gas line from the CenterPoint Energy meter up to and including the connectors to each natural gas appliance inside the home. The plan would also cover repairs to the piping leading to connectors to natural gas appliances outside around the property, such as a natural gas grill or natural gas pool heater. Future offerings will include service plans to help repair or maintain energy-consuming appliances, which will help them use energy more efficiently. 

"HomeServe shares the same level of commitment to quality customer service as CenterPoint Energy," said John Kitzie, CEO of HomeServe. "Our cost-effective service plans provide a better way for customers to secure and pay for repairs through our reliable network of qualified local contractors."  

This news release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based upon assumptions of management which are believed to be reasonable at the time made and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. Actual events and results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Any statements in this news release regarding future events, such as future offerings under CenterPoint's new program, and any other statements that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements. Each forward-looking statement contained in this news release speaks only as of the date of this release.  Factors that could affect actual results include (1) factors related to our business and the economy, including commodity prices, (2) the performance of the companies, (3) competitive conditions in the industry, (4) state and federal legislative and regulatory actions or developments affecting various aspects of the businesses and (5) other factors discussed in CenterPoint Energy's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, as well as in CenterPoint Energy's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 2018, and other reports on Form 8-K CenterPoint Energy or its subsidiaries may file from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

About CenterPoint Energy:

CenterPoint Energy, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission & distribution, natural gas distribution and energy services operations. The company serves more than five million metered customers primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas. The company also owns 54.0 percent of the common units representing limited partner interests in Enable Midstream Partners, a publicly traded master limited partnership it jointly controls with OGE Energy Corp. Enable Midstream Partners owns, operates and develops natural gas and crude oil infrastructure assets. With nearly 8,000 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 150 years. For more information, please visit www.CenterPointEnergy.com

About HomeServe USA Corp.:

HomeServe USA Corp. (HomeServe) is a leading provider of home repair solutions serving 3.6 million customers across the US and Canada under the HomeServe, Home Emergency Insurance Solutions, Service Line Warranties of America (SLWA) and Service Line Warranties of Canada (SLWC) names. Since 2003, HomeServe has been protecting homeowners against the expense and inconvenience of water, sewer, electrical, HVAC and other home repair emergencies by providing affordable repair coverage, installations and quality local service. As an A+ rated Better Business Bureau Accredited Business, HomeServe is dedicated to being a customer-focused company supplying best-in-class repair plans and other services to consumers directly and through over 550 leading municipal, utility and association partners. For more information about HomeServe, a 2017 Connecticut Top Workplace winner and recipient of eighteen 2018 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, or to learn more about HomeServe's affordable repair plans, please go to www.homeserveusa.com. To connect with HomeServe on Facebook and Twitter, please visit www.facebook.com/homeserveusa and www.twitter.com/homeserveusa.

 

For more information:

 

CenterPoint Energy

Media:  Leticia Lowe   

Phone: 713-207-7702

Investors:  David Mordy

Phone: 713-207-6500

 

HomeServe USA

Myles Meehan                                                

Phone: 203-356-4259                                       

             

Hill+Knowlton Strategies for HomeServe USA

Merrie Leininger

Phone: 775-846-0664

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CenterPoint Energy gears up for hurricane season

Houston – June 1, 2018 – Hurricane season officially begins today, and just as CenterPoint Energy has an Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) should a hurricane strike, the company urges customers to have their own emergency plan as well, particularly if they depend on electricity for life-sustaining equipment.

"No two storms are alike, which makes it difficult to forecast what the exact damage to our electric system could be and how long outages could last," said Steve Greenley, vice president of Distribution Operations for CenterPoint Energy. "Customers need to be prepared to be without power for two weeks or possibly longer, depending on the severity of the storm."

The company suggests that customers be prepared to be without service according to the following guidelines:

HURRICANE WIND SPEED ESTIMATED OUTAGE*
CATEGORY 1 winds 74-95 mph 7 to 10 days
CATEGORY 2winds 96-110 mph 2 to 3 wks
CATEGORY 3winds 111-130 mph 3 to 5 wks
CATEGORY 4winds 131-155 mph 4 to 6 wks
CATEGORY 5winds 156 mph and up 6 to 8 wks

*Individual restoration times will vary.

Company using drone technology to assess damage, expedite restoration

Part of CenterPoint Energy's plan includes incorporating the use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS), commonly referred to as drones, into its EOP. Drones help expedite the company's ability to assess damage to its electric transmission and distribution system following a hurricane.

"We used drone technology following Hurricane Harvey last year at more than 500 locations in the Greater Houston area to assist with assessment and restoration efforts as well as to keep our customers informed through aerial footage of damage in their unique service area," said Pierce Prater, CenterPoint Energy service consultant supervisor.  "We have developed plans for drones to play a key role in storm and disaster response going forward."

"Obstacles such as downed trees or flooded roads make it difficult for crews to assess damage following a severe weather event, which in turn can hinder response and restoration time," added Prater. "Using drones in areas that are inaccessible by foot to capture high-resolution imagery in real time will help us assess damage and deploy the right resources in the right places to restore power."

CenterPoint Energy has used helicopters in the past to assess system damage and will still use them as necessary; however, drones can typically be deployed faster than helicopters.

For latest information on power outages:

For more information and resources on hurricane preparedness, visit CenterPointEnergy.com/StormCenter.

Know when to evacuate following severe weather

Minneapolis – May 22, 2018 CenterPoint Energy would like to remind the public of the following important natural gas safety tips when there is severe weather:

  • Following a severe storm, be alert for leaking natural gas. If you smell, hear or see a natural gas leak, leave the area immediately on foot and tell others to do the same.  Do not drive into or near a natural gas leak or vapor cloud;
  • Once safely away from the area, call the CenterPoint Energy emergency natural gas leak hot line at 1-800-296-9815 and 911 to report the location and description of the leak and CenterPoint Energy will send a trained service technician immediately.  If the pipeline operator is not known, call 911;
  • If natural gas is leaking, do not turn the lights on or off, smoke, strike a match, use a cell phone, drive a car or operate anything that might cause a spark including a flashlight or generator; and 
  • Do not attempt to turn any natural gas valves. Improper operation of valves could make the situation worse.

 

CenterPoint Energy, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission and distribution, natural gas distribution and energy services operations. The company serves more than five million metered customers primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas. The company also owns 54.0 percent of the common units representing limited partner interests in Enable Midstream Partners, a publicly traded master limited partnership it jointly controls with OGE Energy Corp. Enable Midstream Partners owns, operates and develops natural gas and crude oil infrastructure assets. With nearly 8,000 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 150 years. The utility also operates a non-regulated business in Minnesota called Home Service Plus®.  For more information, please visit CenterPointEnergy.com.

The power to make a difference in Puerto Rico

Houston – May 21, 2018 – Jesse Berard, a head line mechanic at CenterPoint Energy's Humble service center, was part of CenterPoint Energy's mutual assistance team that joined the more than 1,500 crews from other U.S. utilities to help Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) restore power following Hurricane Maria. "When I learned that CenterPoint Energy was part of the mutual assistance group traveling to Puerto Rico, I knew my skills and experience could make a positive difference," said Berard.

CenterPoint Energy sent two waves of mutual assistance crews to help with the power restoration in the Arecibo area. The crews faced logistical and geographical challenges. In addition, extensive portions of Puerto Rico's electric grid are located in rugged, mountainous terrain that has little or no road access due to Hurricane Maria's impact. CenterPoint Energy's mutual assistance teams were able to make great progress and restore power to more than 5,100 residents in the area.

"Because of the many challenges, this mission was unique. Crews often worked all day to restore service to only a handful of residents. Our highly skilled employees replaced a total of 276 poles and 2,674 spans of wire," said Ed Scott, director of operations for CenterPoint Energy.

This restoration mission was more difficult than any other CenterPoint Energy has worked on. A total of nine Humble service center linemen and employees were selected to help with the restoration efforts. "It was an honor to be a part of the mutual assistance crews and immensely gratifying to turn the lights on for Puerto Ricans," added Berard. "The residents of the region were very grateful. I will never forget the great memories and experiences of my time in this beautiful island."  

In addition to Berard, the following CenterPoint Energy Humble service center employees supported the restoration efforts in Puerto Rico:

  • Vincent Bustamante, line mechanic
  • Kevin Cook, head line mechanic
  • Angel Coronado, line mechanic
  • Geoffrey Hill, line mechanic
  • Joshua Gorman, apprentice lineman
  • Charles Felice, line mechanic
  • Cesar Ruiz, apprentice lineman
  • Robert Thompson, line mechanic

 

In late October, the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) and the American Public Power Association (APPA) received a request from PREPA to support power restoration efforts on the island. In early November, PREPA expanded its aid request to include the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA).

As a result, a team of electric company storm response experts has been on the ground coordinating closely with local officials, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The team has been focused on assessing damages and formalizing a structure for supporting logistics, equipment needs and supply chain issues, as well as ensuring ongoing restoration efforts are completed safely, effectively and efficiently.

CenterPoint Energy is part of electric utility mutual assistance programs that provide access to thousands of linemen and tree trimmers from around the country to lend a hand during widespread power outage emergencies. Coming to the aid of other utilities is nothing new to CenterPoint Energy employees. Over the years, crews have responded and restored power to hundreds of thousands of customers throughout the country who have been left in the dark following hurricanes, ice storms, tornadoes and severe thunderstorms.

For updates, follow CenterPoint Energy on Twitter: @CNPAlerts and Facebook: Facebook.com/CenterPointEnergy.