CenterPoint Energy files for renewable natural gas program in Minnesota
Company seeks Commission approval to introduce innovative renewable natural gas offering to Minnesota customers
2018-08-23T05:00:00Z

Minneapolis – Aug. 23, 2018 CenterPoint Energy filed a proposal today with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) seeking approval to introduce a renewable natural gas green tariff pilot program to its Minnesota customers. If approved, CenterPoint Energy customers would be able to enroll in the program as early as spring 2019. CenterPoint Energy is one of the first natural gas providers in the U.S. to offer renewable natural gas (RNG) to customers.

The proposed program offers CenterPoint Energy customers in Minnesota the option to purchase RNG through their monthly bill. RNG is created by cleaning and refining methane produced from landfills, agriculture and waste water. If approved, the initial pilot program would be in place for five years, after which time CenterPoint Energy could request to continue, modify, or discontinue the program.

RNG is chemically nearly identical to conventional natural gas, but is sourced differently. Conventional natural gas is a fossil fuel obtained by drilling into underground rock formations. RNG is made of biogenic methane produced when organic waste breaks down in the absence of oxygen. Common sources include landfills, wastewater treatment plants and anaerobic digesters on farms or at food processing plants. Once processed, this biofuel can be injected directly into natural gas pipelines and used as a clean and reliable energy source for homes and businesses.

"In many cases, the methane emitted from these waste sources is not put to any useful purpose. The methane is either released directly into the atmosphere or burned in flares and converted to CO2 —in either case increasing greenhouse gas pollutants in the atmosphere. When it is collected, processed and used as a fuel, it can reduce waste and meet customers' energy needs while reducing greenhouse gas emissions," said Nick Mark, manager of Conservation and Renewable Energy Policy for CenterPoint Energy.

How it works

The proposed pilot is designed to operate similarly to electric green tariffs, through which customers may choose to spend more to purchase renewable energy. Under the proposal, residential or commercial customers will be able to voluntarily enroll in the RNG program. Customers will decide how much they wish to spend on RNG, with a minimum of $1 per month. As was the case for early electric green tariffs, the initial cost of RNG will be more expensive than non-renewables due to higher production costs and limited supply. While the finalized per-therm cost will be determined after MPUC approval, CenterPoint Energy estimates that RNG will cost approximately $3.89 per therm. In the future, CenterPoint Energy anticipates adjusting the per-therm program price annually based on market supply and customer demand, but these adjustments will not affect the amount charged to customers. Customers who choose to enroll in the RNG program will pay only the amount they designate.

"We've heard from our customers that they want to have options for how they get their energy and that many of them are interested in using more renewable energy," Mark added. "I'm excited to roll out this innovative program for Minnesota customers interested in supporting renewable forms of energy."

Opportunity for public comment

The filing process includes an opportunity for public comment on the program. After reviewing feedback from stakeholders and the public, the Commission will vote on whether the program is approved, denied or needs to be revised. If approved, CenterPoint Energy would start enrolling customers in the late spring of 2019 and have RNG flowing during the 2019-2020 heating season.

Only a handful of energy companies have sought to implement a voluntary renewable natural gas option for customers. The filing responds to customer and local government sustainability goals such as City of Minneapolis' goal to achieve an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

"In addition to this being an exciting opportunity for CenterPoint Energy to offer our customers an innovative service, this filing helps advance energy policy and increase the amount of energy we get from renewables. We think it can help Minnesota achieve its energy policy goals as well as achieving environmental benefits," said Mark.

For more information on what CenterPoint Energy is doing to conserve the environment and help the community, see their Corporate Responsibility Report. For more information about CenterPoint Energy's RNG program, visit our website.

 

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 more than 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

 

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CenterPoint Energy crews depart for Florida to support power restoration efforts following Hurricane Sally

Houston – Sept. 18, 2020 – This morning, CenterPoint Energy deployed nearly 70 linemen and support personnel from Houston to assist with power restoration efforts in Pensacola, Florida due to Hurricane Sally's extensive damage.

"Our linemen are skilled to perform in any type of conditions, just like they do for our customers at home," said Ed Scott, director of Distribution Operations for CenterPoint Energy. "We are fully committed to restoring power to affected customers as safely and quickly as possible."

CenterPoint Energy crews will begin working 16-hour shifts after the safety and onboarding process is complete and will continue to take the necessary steps to protect the safety and well-being of customers, employees, contractors and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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.

CenterPoint Energy offers natural gas safety tips as Hurricane Laura restoration efforts continue

Houston – Sept. 17, 2020 – CenterPoint Energy urges customers to follow important natural gas safety tips as restoration efforts continue after Hurricane Laura. Following these tips will help customers avoid natural gas leaks and service disruptions.

  • Before cleaning debris, digging on your property or to locate underground natural gas lines and other underground utility lines, call 811, the nationwide Call Before You Dig number.
  • Be aware of where your natural gas meter is located. As debris is put out for heavy trash pickup, make sure it is placed away from the meter. In many areas the meter may be located near the curb. If debris is near a gas meter, the mechanized equipment used by trash collectors could pull up the meter, damaging it and causing a potentially hazardous situation. If this happens, leave the area immediately and call CenterPoint Energy at 888-876-5786.
  • Be alert for the smell of natural gas. If you smell gas, leave the area immediately on foot and tell others to leave, too.
  • If you smell gas, do not turn the lights on or off, smoke, strike a match, use a cell phone or operate anything that might cause a spark, including a flashlight or a generator.
  • Do not attempt to turn natural gas valves on or off. Once safely away from the area, call 888-876-5786 and CenterPoint Energy will send a trained service technician.
  • If your home was flooded, call a licensed plumber or gas appliance technician to inspect your appliances and gas piping to make sure they are in good operating condition before calling CenterPoint Energy to reconnect service. This includes outdoor gas appliances including pool heaters, gas grills and gas lights.
CenterPoint Energy Appoints Jason Wells Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

HOUSTON, Sept. 17, 2020 - CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (NYSE: CNP) today announced the appointment of Jason Wells as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, effective Sept. 28. Wells will oversee the company's Finance organization, including Accounting and Financial Planning, Treasury, Tax, Mergers and Acquisitions, Internal Audit, and Investor Relations. He will report to CenterPoint Energy's President and Chief Executive Officer Dave Lesar and serve on the company's Executive Committee.

"I am confident that Jason is the ideal person with the right skillset for this important CFO leadership role. He is a transformational business and finance leader with a proven track record of operating experience in the utility industry," said Lesar. "Jason will be instrumental in providing financial leadership to help drive CenterPoint Energy's utility-focused strategy, while maximizing value for all of our stakeholders. He will also help accelerate further momentum on key internally driven programs that we have already started, such as a focus on standardized processes, employee empowerment and an enhanced culture of continuous improvement to better serve our customers and investors."

Lesar added, "Jason brings to the CFO position extensive experience in shaping strategy and driving sustainable change. He also has outstanding relationships with utility industry investors and analysts, as well as with the financial community. These are many of the key building blocks that will enable Jason to hit the ground running on making a positive impact for our company. Together with Senior Advisor Tom Webb, I now have the opportunity to work with two highly respected leaders with extensive financial and industry experience to focus on those areas that have proven to be rewarded by shareholders and will enrich the communities in which we operate."

Wells joins CenterPoint Energy from PG&E Corporation where he held roles of increasing responsibility over the past 13 years. Most recently, he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer overseeing the financial activities of the nearly $60 billion enterprise. His accomplishments included leading customer rate affordability initiatives that are expected to deliver $1.6 billion in cumulative savings over a three-year period and implementing PG&E's strategies to support California's transition to a clean energy economy. Prior to his EVP and CFO role, Wells held leadership positions in Business Finance and Accounting with PG&E and its subsidiary, Pacific Gas and Electric Company. He began his career in 1999 with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Assurance and Business Advisory Services. 

"With a compelling utility-focused strategy, outstanding regulated assets and attractive opportunities to invest incremental capital across a diversified, premium service territory, I believe that CenterPoint Energy has all the essential components to deliver on its objective of creating sustainable value for all of our stakeholders," said Wells. "I look forward to collaborating with Dave and the leadership team to build on our momentum and, importantly, executing on the recommendations from the Business Review and Evaluation Committee of the Board of Directors to drive stakeholder value, maximize the company's value proposition and financial strength, and enhance stakeholder engagement."

Wells earned his bachelor's degree and master's degree in Accounting, both from the University of Florida. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

Wells is active in the community and serves on the Board of the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank. From 2013 to 2019, he served as a Board member and Treasurer of Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco.  

"I would like to thank Kristie Colvin for her leadership as interim CFO during an important time for CenterPoint Energy as we transformed our company to focus on our core utility businesses. Her deep knowledge of CenterPoint Energy and regulatory experience will continue to serve us very well. I look forward to Kristie's continued contributions as our Chief Accounting Officer and as a member of our Executive Committee," said Lesar. "I would also like to thank Tom for his efforts to bring an exceptional CFO like Jason on board. I know we are going to make an outstanding team."

About CenterPoint Energy
As the only investor owned electric and gas utility based in Texas, CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (NYSE: CNP) is an energy delivery company with electric transmission and distribution, power generation and natural gas distribution operations that serve more than 7 million metered customers in Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma and Texas. As of June 30, 2020, the company owned approximately $32 billion in assets and also owned 53.7 percent of the common units representing limited partner interests in Enable Midstream Partners, LP, a publicly traded master limited partnership that owns, operates and develops strategically located natural gas and crude oil infrastructure assets. With approximately 9,600 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 150 years. For more information, visit CenterPointEnergy.com.

Forward Looking Statement
This news release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. When used in this news release, the words "anticipate," "believe," "continue," "could," "estimate," "expect," "forecast," "goal," "intend," "may," "objective," "plan," "potential," "predict," "projection," "should," "target," "will" or other similar words are intended to identify forward-looking statements. 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 CenterPoint Energy's potential business strategies and initiatives, value creation, future financial performance, any recommendations and outcomes of the review process of the Business Review and Evaluation Committee of CenterPoint Energy's Board of Directors and other opportunities, 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. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by the provided forward-looking information include risks and uncertainties relating to: (1) the impact of COVID-19; (2) financial market conditions; (3) general economic conditions; (4) the timing and impact of future regulatory and legislative decisions; (5) effects of competition; (6) weather variations; (7) changes in business plans; and (8) other factors, risks and uncertainties discussed in CenterPoint Energy's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019, CenterPoint Energy's Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 2020 and June 30, 2020 and other reports CenterPoint Energy or its subsidiaries may file from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

For more information contact
Media:
John Sousa
Phone   713.619.5143
Investors:
David Mordy
Phone   713.207.6500

SOURCE CenterPoint Energy, Inc.

CenterPoint Energy shares important natural gas safety tips as Tropical Storm Sally continues to strengthen in the Gulf of Mexico

Houston – Sept. 14, 2020 – CenterPoint Energy continues to monitor the forecasts closely as Tropical Storm Sally strengthens in the Gulf of Mexico. The company urges customers to keep important pre- and post-storm natural gas safety tips top of mind to stay safe.

  • Do not turn off your natural gas service at the meter in advance of the storm; doing so could allow water to enter the natural gas lines should flooding occur. If you wish to discontinue gas service, turn off the natural gas at each appliance.
  • Always be alert for the smell of natural gas. If you smell gas, leave the area immediately on foot and tell others to leave, too.
  • If you smell gas, do not turn the lights on or off, smoke, strike a match, use a cell phone or operate anything that might cause a spark, including a flashlight or a generator.
  • Do not attempt to turn natural gas valves on or off. Once safely away from the area, call 888-876-5786 and CenterPoint Energy will send a trained service technician.
  • If your home was flooded, call a licensed plumber or gas appliance technician to inspect your appliances and gas piping to make sure they are in good operating condition before calling CenterPoint Energy to reconnect service. This includes outdoor gas appliances including pool heaters, gas grills and gas lights.
  • Before cleaning debris, digging on your property or to locate underground natural gas lines and other underground utility lines, call 811, the nationwide Call Before You Dig number.
  • Be aware of where your natural gas meter is located. As debris is put out for heavy trash pickup, make sure it is placed away from the meter. In many areas the meter may be located near the curb. If debris is near a gas meter, the mechanized equipment used by trash collectors could pull up the meter, damaging it and causing a potentially hazardous situation. If this happens, leave the area immediately and call CenterPoint Energy at 888-876-5786.

For more information, natural gas safety tips and other resources, visit CenterPointEnergy.com/WeatherSafety

CenterPoint Energy Foundation commits $350,000 to Hurricane Laura relief and recovery

Houston – Sept. 3, 2020 – CenterPoint Energy today announced that through its charitable foundation the company has committed $350,000 to nonprofit organizations leading Hurricane Laura relief and recovery efforts, as well as to an employee relief fund to support its impacted colleagues. CenterPoint Energy’s $350,000 commitment will include $150,000 in contributions to the following organizations that are focused on relief and recovery efforts:

Louisiana: Lake Charles area
  • American Red Cross of Lake Charles – $45,000
  • United Way of Southwest Louisiana – $45,000
  • United Way of Acadiana – $10,000
  • The Salvation Army of Lake Charles – $10,000
Louisiana: Shreveport/Ruston area
  • United Way of Northeast Louisiana – $10,000
  • Rolling Hills Ministries – $10,000
Texas: Beaumont/Orange County
  • American Red Cross of Beaumont – $15,000
  • The Salvation Army of Beaumont – $5,000
The company’s commitment will also include up to $200,000 in matching gifts from the CenterPoint Energy Foundation to its employee relief fund. CenterPoint Energy’s employees can make donations to the fund, which will be matched by the foundation $2 for every $1, up to a total of $200,000. An independent, third-party organization will manage distribution of the funds to employees who sustained damages and losses resulting from the storm.

“The safety and well-being of our employees, customers and communities impacted by Hurricane Laura remain our top priorities,” said Scott Doyle, Executive Vice President, Natural Gas. “Through the CenterPoint Energy Foundation’s contributions to local nonprofit organizations and our employee relief fund, we hope to alleviate some of the financial burden placed on those recovering from the storm’s devastation. Our thoughts are with CenterPoint Energy’s employees and customers who were directly affected by the storm.”

CenterPoint Energy continues to assess and repair damage to its natural gas facilities impacted by Hurricane Laura in Louisiana and southeast Texas. Additional company crews from Texas, Mississippi and Arkansas have been deployed to help handle emergencies and restore natural gas service. CenterPoint Energy serves approximately 200,000 customers in the south Louisiana and southeast Texas areas impacted by Hurricane Laura.

Mutual assistance crews from CenterPoint Energy’s Electric Operations in Houston and Indiana are also helping Entergy Texas restore power in the impacted area of Orange, Texas, replacing downed poles, wires and transformers, among other critical work. The company has distribution, transmission, major underground and support personnel on the ground. CenterPoint Energy also expects to provide additional assistance in and around Lake Charles, La.
The company is also partnering with relief and recovery organizations, including the American Red Cross and United Way, on virtual volunteer opportunities and food and supply drives in Houston and Shreveport.
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