CenterPoint Energy and Vectren complete merger
Combined company well positioned to advance its vision to lead the nation in delivering energy, service and value
2019-02-01T06:00:00Z

Houston and Evansville, Ind. – Feb. 1, 2019 – CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (NYSE: CNP) and Vectren Corporation (NYSE: VVC) today announced the successful completion of their merger. The combined company, which is named CenterPoint Energy and headquartered in Houston, has regulated electric and natural gas utility businesses in eight states that serve more than 7 million metered customers and a competitive energy businesses' footprint in nearly 40 states.

"Today, we come together as one company. With a greater level of business operations, resources and capabilities, we plan to execute a unified business strategy focused on the safe and reliable delivery of electricity, natural gas and energy-related services," said Scott M. Prochazka, president and chief executive officer of CenterPoint Energy. "It is a time of transformation for our industry, and I believe CenterPoint Energy will be well positioned to deliver traditional energy services with innovative solutions that meet customers' evolving needs and expectations."

With the merger, CenterPoint Energy has assets totaling approximately $29 billion, an enterprise value of $27 billion and approximately 14,000 employees. CenterPoint Energy's businesses include:

  • Electric utility business CenterPoint Energy maintains the wires, poles and electric infrastructure serving 2.4 million metered customers in the greater Houston area and 145,000 customers in Indiana. The company also owns and operates nearly 1,300 megawatts of power generation capacity in Indiana. CenterPoint Energy's Texas electric utility business is headquartered in Houston and its Indiana electric utility business is headquartered in Evansville, Ind.
  • Natural gas utility business – CenterPoint Energy sells and delivers natural gas to 4.5 million homes and businesses in eight states: Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma and Texas, including the high-growth areas of Houston and Minneapolis. The company's natural gas utility business is headquartered in Evansville.
  • Competitive energy businesses – CenterPoint Energy's competitive energy businesses include: natural gas marketing and energy-related services; energy efficiency, sustainability and infrastructure modernization solutions; and construction and repair services for pipeline systems, primarily natural gas. The company's competitive energy businesses are led from Houston.

CenterPoint Energy will continue to trade under the ticker symbol "CNP" on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the Chicago Stock Exchange.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, which was announced on April 23, 2018, Vectren shareholders will receive $72.00, along with a prorated dividend of $0.41145, in cash for each share of Vectren common stock owned as of the close of business on Feb. 1, 2019. Additionally, Vectren common stock, which previously traded under the ticker symbol "VVC," has ceased trading on and was delisted from the NYSE effective today.

"I look forward to watching the newly combined company thrive in this evolving industry," said Carl Chapman, outgoing Vectren chairman, president and chief executive officer. "CenterPoint Energy was the right partner for Vectren and I am confident this merger will have a positive impact on all stakeholders. I sincerely thank the employees and shareholders who have been part of the Vectren journey."

A CenterPoint Energy fact sheet can be found here.

 

CenterPoint Energy

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, CenterPoint Energy, Inc. is an energy delivery company with regulated utility businesses in eight states and a competitive energy businesses footprint in nearly 40 states. Through its electric transmission & distribution, power generation and natural gas distribution businesses, the company serves more than 7 million metered customers primarily in Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma and Texas. CenterPoint Energy's competitive energy businesses include natural gas marketing and energy-related services; energy efficiency, sustainability and infrastructure modernization solutions; and construction and repair services for pipeline systems, primarily natural gas. The company also owns 54.0 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 14,000 employees and nearly $29 billion in assets, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 150 years. For more information, visit CenterPointEnergy.com.

Forward-Looking Statement

The statements in this press release contain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. All statements other than statements of historical fact included in this press release are forward-looking statements made in good faith by us and are intended to qualify for the safe harbor from liability established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  When used in this press 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. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements relating to benefits of the merger, integration plans and expected synergies and anticipated future financial measures and operating performance and results, including estimates for growth and other matters affecting future operations. Each forward-looking statement contained in this press 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) difficulties that may arise in successfully integrating the businesses of CenterPoint Energy and Vectren, which may result in the combined company not operating as efficiently and effectively as anticipated; (2) the ability of the combined company to achieve expected cost savings and synergies or it taking longer than expected for those savings and synergies to materialize; (3) potential unexpected costs or unexpected liabilities associated with the merger; (4) potential differences in the actual credit ratings of CenterPoint Energy, Vectren or their subsidiaries from the companies' anticipated ratings; (5) future regulatory or legislative actions that could adversely affect the combined company; (6) other economic, business or competitive factors that could adversely affect the combined company and (7) other factors discussed in CenterPoint Energy's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, CenterPoint Energy's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 2018, June 30, 2018 and September 30, 2018 and other reports CenterPoint Energy or its subsidiaries may file from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

 

 

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CenterPoint Energy and Energy Capital Partners Complete Sale of CenterPoint Energy Services Business

HOUSTON, June 1, 2020 - CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (NYSE: CNP) and Energy Capital Partners, LLC, (ECP), a private equity and credit investor specializing in energy infrastructure projects, today announced that they have closed on the sale of CenterPoint Energy Services, Inc. (CES) to an affiliate of ECP. Net proceeds of the sale will be used to repay a portion of outstanding CenterPoint Energy debt.

In connection with the closing of the transaction, CES changed its name to Symmetry Energy Solutions, LLC, (Symmetry Energy) and entered into a structured long-term Preferred Supply agreement through which Shell Energy North America (US), L.P. will provide gas supply and collateral support, as well as receive equity warrants.

"We are pleased to have completed this transaction as we continue to focus on the long-term performance of our core electric and natural gas utility businesses," said John W. Somerhalder II, interim president and chief executive officer of CenterPoint Energy. "We appreciate CenterPoint Energy Services' contribution to our business and feel confident that ECP is the right company to continue growing CES, now Symmetry Energy Solutions, and position it for long-term success."

Incoming Symmetry Energy CEO Alan Dunlea said, "I am excited to lead a talented team in the next phase of Symmetry Energy's growth, with a commitment to continue delivering innovative solutions and superior service to our broad base of customers."

Andrew Gilbert, a partner at ECP said, "ECP looks forward to partnering with Symmetry Energy and its employees to extend the company's long track record of reliable gas supply and customer service."

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (NYSE: CNP) is an energy delivery company with electric transmission & 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. CenterPoint Energy's competitive energy businesses include energy-related services, energy efficiency and sustainability solutions, and owning and operating intrastate natural gas pipeline systems that help fund utility operations. As of March 31, 2020, the company owns approximately $33 billion in assets and also owns 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.

Energy Capital Partners, founded in 2005, is a North American-focused investor across both equity and credit infrastructure assets, including natural gas power generation, renewables and storage solutions, midstream, environmental infrastructure and opportunistic energy situations emphasizing the transition to clean energy while avoiding the more volatile energy subsectors like exploration and production. The ECP team, comprised of 61 people with 600 years of collective industry experience, deep expertise and extensive relationships, has consummated more than 60 transactions over the last 10 years, representing more than $45 billion of enterprise value.

Forward-Looking Statement

The statements in this press release contain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. All statements other than statements of historical fact included in this press release are forward-looking statements made in good faith by us and are intended to qualify for the safe harbor from liability established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. When used in this press 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. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements relating to benefits of the sale, use of proceeds, future strategies and future growth. 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 discussed in CenterPoint Energy's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019, CenterPoint Energy's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2020 and other reports CenterPoint Energy or its subsidiaries may file from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

CenterPoint Energy Communications

CenterPoint Energy Investor Relations

Elizabeth Reese: 713-207-7736

David Mordy: 713-207-6284

Elizabeth.Reese@centerpointenergy.com

David.mordy@centerpointenergy.com

 

SOURCE CenterPoint Energy, Inc.

CenterPoint Energy gears up for hurricane season

Houston – June 1, 2020 – Hurricane season begins June 1, and CenterPoint Energy encourages customers to have an emergency plan, particularly if they depend on electricity for life-sustaining equipment. As a part of CenterPoint Energy's commitment to restore services as quickly and safely as possible following a severe weather event, the company has an Emergency Operations Plan (EOP). CenterPoint Energy's employees, across all areas, are called upon to support the company­­'s EOP.

"Hurricanes are unpredictable, which makes it hard to anticipate the impact to our electric system," said Randy Pryor, vice president of Distribution Operations for CenterPoint Energy. "Based on the severity of the event, customers should be prepared for outages and have resources to be without power for at least two weeks or possibly longer."

CenterPoint Energy recommends 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 weeks
CATEGORY 3winds 111-130 mph 3 to 5 weeks
CATEGORY 4winds 131-155 mph 4 to 6 weeks
CATEGORY 5winds 156 mph and up 6 to 8 weeks

  *Individual restoration times will vary.

In response to COVID-19, CenterPoint Energy implemented its Pandemic Preparedness Plan to help ensure safe, reliable delivery of energy and services to homes and businesses. In the event of a hurricane, the company will continue to take the necessary steps to protect the safety and well-being of customers, employees, contractors and communities.

"We are dedicated to restoring our electrical transmission and distribution system safely and effectively, while also taking the necessary safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We are asking customers to respect social distancing guidelines and not approach working employees and contractors," added Pryor.

CenterPoint Energy has implemented additional measures to protect the safety and health of its customers, employees and contractors. These safety measures include:

  • Equipping employees with hand sanitizer in their vehicles as well as latex gloves – 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 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.

For the latest information on power outages:

No two storms are alike and, as was the case with Hurricane Harvey, flooding can have a significant impact on natural gas operations. For information on natural gas safety, electric safety and other resources, visit CenterPointEnergy.com/StormCenter.

 

CenterPoint Energy reports first quarter 2020 loss of $2.44 per diluted share; $0.50 earnings per diluted share from utility operations and $0.10 per diluted share from midstream investments on a guidance basis, excluding impairment charges

Houston - May 7, 2020 - CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (NYSE: CNP) today reported a loss available to common shareholders of $1,228 million, or loss of $2.44 per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2020, compared to income available to common shareholders of $140 million, or $0.28 per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2019.  The company recognized $1,568 million of after-tax non-cash impairment charges and losses on assets held for sale in the first quarter of 2020, which are discussed in detail below.

On a guidance basis, first quarter 2020 earnings were $0.50 per diluted share from utility operations and $0.10 per diluted share from midstream investments, excluding non-cash impairment charges. First quarter 2019 earnings, on a guidance basis, were $0.41 per diluted share from utility operations and $0.05 per diluted share from midstream investments. See "Reconciliation of Consolidated income available to common shareholders and diluted earnings (loss) per share (GAAP) to adjusted income and adjusted diluted earnings per share (Non-GAAP)" below.

"During these unprecedented times, I am proud of the tremendous efforts our employees are making every day to continue providing safe and reliable electricity and natural gas to our customers," said John W. Somerhalder II, interim president and chief executive officer of CenterPoint Energy. "I would like to extend a special thank you to our operations personnel who are on the front lines keeping the electricity on and the natural gas flowing during a time when our customers need them most. Despite the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic and less-than-favorable weather, I am pleased to report that CenterPoint Energy delivered strong first quarter results driven by customer growth, rate relief, disciplined cost management and favorable tax benefits."

Business Segments

Houston Electric - Transmission & Distribution

The Houston electric - transmission & distribution segment reported net income of $37 million for the first quarter of 2020, compared with $30 million for the first quarter of 2019. Net income for the first quarter of 2020 included $3 million of after-tax severance costs. Net income for the first quarter of 2019 included $8 million of after-tax merger-related expenses.  On a guidance basis, first quarter 2020 net income was $40 million, compared with $38 million for the first quarter of 2019.  On a guidance basis, net income in the first quarter of 2020 benefited primarily from customer growth and lower operations and maintenance expense. These benefits were partially offset by increased depreciation and amortization and other taxes expense, lower equity return, primarily due to the annual true-up of transition charges, and lower miscellaneous revenues.

Indiana Electric – Integrated

The Indiana electric - integrated segment reported a net loss of $171 million for the first quarter of 2020, compared with a net loss of $9 million for the first quarter of 2019. The net loss for the first quarter of 2020 included $185 million of non-cash impairment charges. The net loss for the first quarter of 2019 included $18 million of after-tax merger-related expenses.  On a guidance basis, excluding non-cash impairment charges, first quarter 2020 net income was $14 million, compared with $9 million for the first quarter of 2019.  On a guidance basis, net income in the first quarter of 2020 benefited primarily from an additional month of earnings from the electric utility acquired in the merger in February 2019 and rate relief. These benefits were partially offset by lower usage, primarily due to unfavorable weather.

Natural Gas Distribution

The natural gas distribution segment reported net income of $204 million for the first quarter of 2020, compared with $120 million for the first quarter of 2019. Net income for the first quarter of 2020 includes $3 million of after-tax severance costs. Net income for the first quarter of 2019 included $44 million of after-tax merger-related expenses.  On a guidance basis, first quarter 2020 net income was $207 million, compared with $164 million for the first quarter of 2019. On a guidance basis, net income in the first quarter of 2020 benefited primarily from an additional month of earnings from the gas jurisdictions acquired in the merger in February 2019, rate relief, customer growth and lower operations and maintenance expense. These increases were partially offset by increased depreciation and amortization and other taxes expense, interest expense and lower usage, primarily due to unfavorable weather.

Midstream Investments

The midstream investments segment reported a net loss of $1,127 million for the first quarter of 2020.  This loss included after-tax non-cash impairment charges totaling $1,177 million, composed of the company's impairment of its investment in Enable Midstream Partners, LP ("Enable") of $1,166 million and the company's share, $11 million, of impairment charges Enable recorded for goodwill and long-lived assets during the first quarter of 2020.  Excluding non-cash impairment charges, first quarter of 2020 net income was $50 million, compared with $24 million for the first quarter of 2019.  For further detail, please refer to Enable's investor materials provided during its first quarter 2020 earnings call on May 6, 2020.

Corporate and Other

The corporate and other segment reported net income of $4 million for the first quarter of 2020, compared with a net loss of $22 million for the first quarter of 2019.  Net income for the first quarter of 2020 included $7 million of after-tax merger-related expenses and severance costs. The net loss for the first quarter of 2019 included $12 million of after-tax merger-related expenses.

Discontinued Operations - Energy Services and Infrastructure Services

Discontinued operations reported a net loss of $146 million for the first quarter of 2020, compared with net income of $26 million for the first quarter of 2019.  The net loss for the first quarter of 2020 included $111 million of after-tax non-cash impairment charges at Energy Services recorded for goodwill and loss on assets held for sale, plus an additional after-tax loss of $4 million for cost to sell, and $80 million of after-tax non-cash impairment charges at Infrastructure Services recorded for goodwill, plus an additional after-tax loss of $11 million for cost to sell. Results related to discontinued operations are excluded from the company's guidance basis results.

Earnings Outlook

To provide greater transparency on utility earnings, 2020 guidance will be presented in two components, a guidance basis Utility EPS range and a Midstream Investments EPS expected range.

  • Reiterate 2020 guidance basis Utility EPS range of $1.10 - $1.20
  • 2020 - 2024 target of 5 - 7% compound annual guidance basis Utility EPS growth, using the 2020 range of $1.10 - $1.20 as the starting EPS, assuming the COVID-19 scenario described below
  • 2020 Midstream Investments EPS expected range is $0.15 - $0.18 

Utility EPS Guidance Range

  • Utility EPS guidance range includes net income from Houston Electric, Indiana Electric and Natural Gas Distribution segments, as well as after tax operating income from the Corporate and Other segment.
  • The 2020 Utility EPS guidance range considers operations performance to date and assumptions for certain significant variables that may impact earnings, such as customer growth (approximately 2% for electric operations and 1% for natural gas distribution) and usage including normal weather, throughput, recovery of capital invested through rate cases and other rate filings, effective tax rates, financing activities and related interest rates, regulatory and judicial proceedings, anticipated cost savings as a result of the merger and reflects dilution and earnings as if the newly issued preferred stock were issued as common stock.  In addition, the Utility EPS guidance range incorporates a COVID-19 scenario range of $0.05 - $0.08 which assumes reduced demand levels with April as the peak and reflects anticipated deferral and recovery of incremental expenses, including bad debt. The COVID-19 scenario also assumes a gradual re-opening of the economy in CenterPoint Energy's service territories, leading to diminishing levels of demand reduction, which would continue through August.  To the extent actual recovery deviates from these COVID-19 scenario assumptions, the 2020 Utility EPS guidance range may not be met and our projected full-year guidance range may change.  The Utility EPS guidance range also assumes an allocation of corporate overhead based upon its relative earnings contribution. Corporate overhead consists of interest expense, preferred stock dividend requirements, income on Enable preferred units and other items directly attributable to the parent along with the associated income taxes.
  • Utility EPS guidance excludes:
    • Certain integration and transaction-related fees and expenses associated with the merger
    • Severance costs
    • Midstream Investments and allocation of associated corporate overhead
    • Results related to Infrastructure Services and Energy Services, including anticipated costs and impairment resulting from the sale of those businesses
    • Earnings or losses from the change in value of ZENS and related securities
    • Changes in accounting standards

In providing this 2020 guidance, CenterPoint Energy uses a non-GAAP measure of adjusted diluted earnings per share that does not consider the items noted above and other potential impacts, including other unusual items, which could have a material impact on GAAP reported results for the applicable guidance period. CenterPoint Energy is unable to present a quantitative reconciliation of forward looking adjusted diluted earnings per share because changes in the value of ZENS and related securities are not estimable as they are highly variable and difficult to predict due to various factors outside of management’s control.

Midstream Investments EPS Expected Range

The 2020 Midstream Investments EPS expected range is $0.15 - $0.18. In providing this EPS range for Midstream Investments, the company assumes a 53.7 percent limited partner ownership interest in Enable and includes the amortization of its basis differential in Enable and assumes an allocation of CenterPoint Energy corporate overhead based upon Midstream Investments relative earnings contribution. The Midstream Investments EPS expected range reflects dilution and earnings as if CenterPoint Energy's newly issued preferred stock were issued as common stock. The Midstream Investments EPS expected range takes into account such factors as Enable's most recent public outlook for 2020 dated May 6, 2020, and effective tax rates. The company does not include other potential impacts such as any changes in accounting standards, impairments or Enable'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 quarter ended March 31, 2020. A copy of that report is available on the company’s website, under the Investors section. Investors and others should note that we may announce material information using SEC filings, press releases, public conference calls, webcasts, and the Investor Relations page of our website. In the future, we will continue to use these channels to distribute material information about the company and to communicate important information about the company, key personnel, corporate initiatives, regulatory updates and other matters. Information that we post on our website could be deemed material; therefore we encourage investors, the media, our customers, business partners and others interested in our company to review the information we post on our website.

Webcast of Earnings Conference Call

CenterPoint Energy's management will host an earnings conference call on Thursday, May 7, 2020, 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.

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, CenterPoint Energy, Inc. is an energy delivery company with regulated utility businesses in eight states and a competitive energy businesses footprint in more than 30 states. Through its electric transmission & distribution, power generation and natural gas distribution businesses, the company serves more than 7 million metered customers in Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma and Texas. CenterPoint Energy's competitive energy businesses include natural gas marketing and energy-related services, energy efficiency and sustainability solutions, and owning and operating intrastate natural gas pipeline systems that help fund utility operations. As of March 31, 2020, the company owned approximately $33 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 9,900 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 150 years. For more information, visit CenterPointEnergy.com.

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 capital investments, future earnings, and future financial performance and results of operations, including, but not limited to earnings guidance, impact of COVID-19, including with respect to regulatory actions, 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.

Risks Related to CenterPoint Energy

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 performance of Enable Midstream Partners, LP (Enable), the amount of cash distributions CenterPoint Energy receives from Enable, Enable's ability to redeem the Enable Series A Preferred Units in certain circumstances and the value of CenterPoint Energy's interest in Enable, and factors that may have a material impact on such performance, cash distributions and value, including factors such as: (A) competitive conditions in the midstream industry, and actions taken by Enable's customers and competitors, including drilling, production and capital spending decisions of third parties and the extent and timing of the entry of additional competition in the markets served by Enable; (B) the timing and extent of changes in the supply of natural gas and associated commodity prices, particularly prices of natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGLs), the competitive effects of the available pipeline capacity in the regions served by Enable, and the effects of geographic and seasonal commodity price differentials, including the effects of these circumstances on re-contracting available capacity on Enable's interstate pipelines; (C) economic effects of the recent actions of Saudi Arabia,  Russia and other oil-producing countries, which have resulted in a substantial decrease in oil and natural gas prices and the combined impact of these events and COVID-19 on commodity prices; (D) the demand for crude oil, natural gas, NGLs and transportation and storage services; (E) environmental and other governmental regulations, including the availability of drilling permits and the regulation of hydraulic fracturing; (F) recording of goodwill, long-lived asset or other than temporary impairment charges by or related to Enable; (G) the timing of payments from Enable's customers under existing contracts, including minimum volume commitment payments; (H) changes in tax status; and (I) access to debt and equity capital; (2) the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on CenterPoint Energy's and Enable's operations, business and financial condition, the industries and communities they serve, U.S. and world financial markets and supply chains, potential regulatory actions and changes in customer and stakeholder behaviors relating thereto; (3) volatility and a substantial recent decline in the markets for oil and natural gas as a result of the actions of crude-oil exporting nations and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and reduced worldwide consumption due to the COVID-19 pandemic; (4) CenterPoint Energy's expected benefits of the merger with Vectren Corporation (Vectren) and integration, including the outcome of shareholder litigation filed against Vectren that could reduce anticipated benefits of the merger, as well as the ability to successfully integrate the Vectren businesses and to realize anticipated benefits and commercial opportunities; (5) the recording of impairment charges, including any impairment or loss associated with the sale of Infrastructure Services and Energy Services; (6) industrial, commercial and residential growth in CenterPoint Energy's service territories and changes in market demand, including the demand for CenterPoint Energy's non-utility products and services and effects of energy efficiency measures and demographic patterns; (7) timely and appropriate rate actions that allow recovery of costs and a reasonable return on investment; (8) future economic conditions in regional and national markets and their effect on sales, prices and costs; (9) weather variations and other natural phenomena, including the impact of severe weather events on operations and capital; (10) state and federal legislative and regulatory actions or developments affecting various aspects of CenterPoint Energy's and Enable's businesses, including, among others, energy deregulation or re-regulation, pipeline integrity and safety and changes in regulation and legislation pertaining to trade, health care, finance and actions regarding the rates charged by our regulated businesses; (11) tax legislation, including the effects of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the comprehensive tax reform legislation informally referred to as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (which includes any potential changes to interest deductibility) and uncertainties involving state commissions' and local municipalities' regulatory requirements and determinations regarding the treatment of excess deferred income taxes and CenterPoint Energy's rates; (12) CenterPoint Energy's ability to mitigate weather impacts through normalization or rate mechanisms, and the effectiveness of such mechanisms; (13) the timing and extent of changes in commodity prices, particularly natural gas and coal, and the effects of geographic and seasonal commodity price differentials; (14) the ability of CenterPoint Energy's and CERC's non-utility business (Energy Services) to effectively optimize opportunities related to natural gas price volatility and storage activities, including weather-related impacts; (15) actions by credit rating agencies, including any potential downgrades to credit ratings; (16) changes in interest rates and their impact on CenterPoint Energy's costs of borrowing and the valuation of its pension benefit obligation; (17) problems with regulatory approval, legislative actions, construction, implementation of necessary technology or other issues with respect to major capital projects that result in delays or cancellation or in cost overruns that cannot be recouped in rates; (18) the availability and prices of raw materials and services and changes in labor for current and future construction projects; (19) local, state and federal legislative and regulatory actions or developments relating to the environment, including, among others, those related to global climate change, air emissions, carbon, waste water discharges and the handling and disposal of coal combustion residuals (CCR) that could impact the continued operation, and/or cost recovery of generation plant costs and related assets; (20) the impact of unplanned facility outages or other closures; (21) any direct or indirect effects on CenterPoint Energy's or Enable's facilities, operations and financial condition resulting from terrorism, cyber-attacks, data security breaches or other attempts to disrupt CenterPoint Energy's businesses or the businesses of third parties, or other catastrophic events such as fires, ice, earthquakes, explosions, leaks, floods, droughts, hurricanes, tornadoes, pandemic health events or other occurrences; (22) CenterPoint Energy's ability to invest planned capital and the timely recovery of CenterPoint Energy's existing and future investments, including those related to Indiana Electric's anticipated Integrated Resource Plan; (23) CenterPoint Energy's ability to successfully construct and operate electric generating facilities, including complying with applicable environmental standards and the implementation of a well-balanced energy and resource mix, as appropriate; (24) CenterPoint Energy's ability to control operation and maintenance costs; (25) the sufficiency of CenterPoint Energy's insurance coverage, including availability, cost, coverage and terms and ability to recover claims; (26) the investment performance of CenterPoint Energy's pension and postretirement benefit plans; (27) commercial bank and financial market conditions, CenterPoint Energy's access to capital, the cost of such capital, and the results of CenterPoint Energy's financing and refinancing efforts, including availability of funds in the debt capital markets; (28) changes in rates of inflation; (29) inability of various counterparties to meet their obligations to CenterPoint Energy; (30) non-payment for CenterPoint Energy's services due to financial distress of its customers; (31) the extent and effectiveness of CenterPoint Energy's and Enable's risk management and hedging activities, including but not limited to, financial and weather hedges and commodity risk management activities; (32) timely and appropriate regulatory actions, which include actions allowing securitization, for any future hurricanes or natural disasters or other recovery of costs; (33) CenterPoint Energy's or Enable's potential business strategies and strategic initiatives, including restructurings, joint ventures and acquisitions or dispositions of assets or businesses, including the proposed sale of Energy Services, which CenterPoint Energy and Enable cannot assure will be completed or will have the anticipated benefits to CenterPoint Energy or Enable; (34) the development of new opportunities and the performance of projects undertaken by ESG, including, among other factors, the level of success in bidding contracts and cancellation and/or reductions in the scope of projects by customers, and obligations related to warranties and guarantees; (35) acquisition and merger activities involving CenterPoint Energy or its competitors, including the ability to successfully complete merger, acquisition and divestiture plans; (36) CenterPoint Energy's or Enable's ability to recruit, effectively transition and retain management and key employees and maintain good labor relations; (37) the outcome of litigation; (38) the ability of retail electric providers (REPs), including REP affiliates of NRG Energy, Inc. and Vistra Energy Corp., formerly known as TCEH Corp., to satisfy their obligations to CenterPoint Energy and its subsidiaries; (39) changes in technology, particularly with respect to efficient battery storage or the emergence or growth of new, developing or alternative sources of generation; (40) the impact of alternate energy sources on the demand for natural gas; (41) the timing and outcome of any audits, disputes and other proceedings related to taxes; (42) the effective tax rates; (43) the transition to a replacement for the LIBOR benchmark interest rate; (44) the effect of changes in and application of accounting standards and pronouncements; and (45) other factors discussed in CenterPoint Energy's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019, CenterPoint Energy's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2020 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 income (loss) available to common shareholders and diluted earnings (loss) per share, CenterPoint Energy also provides guidance based on adjusted 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.

To provide greater transparency on utility earnings, CenterPoint Energy's 2020 guidance will be presented in two components, a guidance basis Utility EPS range and a Midstream Investments EPS expected range. The 2020 Utility EPS guidance range includes net income from Houston Electric, Indiana Electric and Natural Gas Distribution business segments, as well as after tax operating income from the Corporate and Other business segment. The 2020 Utility EPS guidance range considers operations performance to date and assumptions for certain significant variables that may impact earnings, such as customer growth (approximately 2% for electric operations and 1% for natural gas distribution) and usage including normal weather, throughput, recovery of capital invested through rate cases and other rate filings, effective tax rates, financing activities and related interest rates, regulatory and judicial proceedings, anticipated cost savings as a result of the merger and reflects dilution and earnings as if the recently issued preferred stock were issued as common stock.  In addition, the 2020 Utility EPS guidance range incorporates a COVID-19 scenario range of $0.05 - $0.08 which assumes reduced demand levels with April as the peak and reflects anticipated deferral and recovery of incremental expenses, including bad debt. The COVID-19 scenario also assumes a gradual re-opening of the economy in CenterPoint Energy's service territories, leading to diminishing levels of demand reduction, which would continue through August.  To the extent actual recovery deviates from these COVID-19 scenario assumptions, the 2020 Utility EPS guidance range may not be met and our projected full-year guidance range may change.  The 2020 Utility EPS guidance range also assumes an allocation of corporate overhead based upon its relative earnings contribution. Corporate overhead consists of interest expense, preferred stock dividend requirements, income on Enable preferred units and other items directly attributable to the parent along with the associated income taxes. Utility EPS guidance excludes (a) certain integration and transaction-related fees and expenses associated with the merger, (b) severance costs, (c) Midstream Investments and associated allocation of corporate overhead, (d) results related to Infrastructure Services and Energy Services, including anticipated costs and impairment resulting from the sale of those businesses, and (e) earnings or losses from the change in value of ZENS and related securities. In providing this guidance, CenterPoint Energy 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, which could have a material impact on GAAP reported results for the applicable guidance period.  CenterPoint Energy is unable to present a quantitative reconciliation of forward looking adjusted diluted earnings per share because changes in the value of ZENS and related securities are not estimable as they are highly variable and difficult to predict due to various factors outside of management's control.

The 2020 Midstream Investments EPS expected range assumes a 53.7 percent limited partner ownership interest in Enable and includes the amortization of the Company's basis differential in Enable and assumes an allocation of CenterPoint Energy corporate overhead based upon Midstream Investments relative earnings contribution. The Midstream Investments EPS expected range reflects dilution and earnings as if the CenterPoint Energy recently issued preferred stock were issued as common stock.  The Midstream Investments EPS expected range takes into account such factors as Enable's most recent public outlook for 2020 dated May 6, 2020, and effective tax rates. The company does not include other potential impacts such as any changes in accounting standards, impairments or Enable's unusual items.

Management evaluates the company's financial performance in part based on adjusted income and adjusted diluted earnings per share. Management believes 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 do 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 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, income available to common shareholders 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.

CenterPoint Energy Announces Landmark Actions: Significant Equity Investment, New Board Directors and New Board Committee

HOUSTON, May 7, 2020 - CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (NYSE: CNP) today announced a comprehensive approach to further strengthen and fortify its financial position, enhance shareholder value and advance the interests of all stakeholders.  Today's announcement has three key elements: a $1.4 billion equity investment; the appointment of two new highly credentialed and qualified directors to the Board; and the creation of a new Business Review and Evaluation Committee of the Board.

Equity Investment

With the significant equity investment announced today, CenterPoint Energy has strengthened its financial position and provided additional certainty to stakeholders. When combined with measures previously announced on April 1, 2020, the equity investment is expected to position the Company to: 

  • De-lever its balance sheet, further supporting its investment-grade credit metrics and strengthening its overall credit profile;
  • Eliminate the previously anticipated need to raise additional equity through 2022;
  • Execute on its robust five-year, $13 billion capital investment program focused entirely on its regulated utility businesses, delivering an expected overall ~7.5% rate base CAGR;
  • Provide a 50%-55% utility earnings payout ratio on a go-forward basis (off of a current annualized base dividend of $0.60 per share);
  • Achieve the 5-7% utility earnings compound annual growth rate range over the planning horizon and scenarios described in the Company's first quarter 2020 earnings news release; and
  • Deliver strong, sustainable value and growth for the benefit of all stakeholders.

The $1.4 billion equity investment includes $725 million in mandatory convertible preferred shares and $675 million in common shares.  A mix of new and current investors are providing the new equity capital to CenterPoint Energy, including affiliates of Elliott Management Corporation, Fidelity Management & Research Company, Bluescape Energy Partners and other long-term oriented, well-established mutual fund families.  The preferred shares' initial conversion price is $15.31 per share, and the common shares were issued at $16.08 per share.

Proceeds from these investments, in addition to the cash proceeds received from the sale of Miller Pipeline and Minnesota Limited, and expected to be received from the pending sale of CenterPoint Energy Services will be primarily applied to de-leverage the balance sheet to strengthen the Company's credit profile. As a result of today's financing, CenterPoint Energy no longer anticipates additional equity needs through 2022, and accordingly total equity issuance through 2022 would be below the midpoint of the company's previously contemplated equity issuance expectations. These decisive actions highlight CenterPoint Energy's substantial value proposition as a customer-focused energy delivery company with strong and growing electric and natural gas utility businesses.

New Board Directors

CenterPoint Energy has also bolstered its Board composition with the appointment of two new highly qualified directors, David J. Lesar and Barry T. Smitherman, bringing the total number of directors on the Board to 10.  These directors come to the Board with exemplary leadership experience, unique backgrounds and well matched skillsets tailored for the needs and opportunities ahead for the Company. 

Milton Carroll, Executive Chairman, said, "Dave Lesar and Barry Smitherman are highly accomplished leaders who add valuable perspectives and expertise to our Board. As the former CEO of Halliburton for 17 years and a CPA with a distinguished tenure at Arthur Andersen, Dave is an outstanding executive with extensive financial and operational experience. He also has an impressive track record in delivering shareholder value at the enterprises he led. Barry, an attorney by training, has enjoyed a distinguished career in banking and public service, including formerly as chairman of both the Public Utility Commission and the Railroad Commission of Texas. This experience will be invaluable in supporting strong regulatory strategies for CenterPoint Energy. We are delighted to welcome both to our Board and look forward to benefitting from their wise counsel and active participation."

Dave Lesar said, "I am pleased to be joining the distinguished board of such an outstanding company. CenterPoint Energy is a backbone of economic vitality in the state of Texas and the communities it serves. I look forward to working with the Company and my fellow directors to navigate the opportunities and complexity of the energy delivery markets."

Barry Smitherman said, "I have known and worked with CenterPoint Energy for decades, including during my tenure as chairman of the PUCT and the Railroad Commission.  I have always respected the Company for its commitment to service, safety and integrity, and I am excited to be joining its outstanding board of directors."

New Business Review and Evaluation Committee of the Board; Investor Day

In addition to the new director appointments, the Board has formed a new Business Review and Evaluation Committee of the Board (the "Committee").  To further enhance the Company's financial strength, positioning and value proposition, the new Committee will provide advice and recommendations to the Board regarding analyzing and executing on a comprehensive range of potential value-maximizing strategic business actions and alternatives related to CenterPoint Energy's current configuration and alignment of businesses, assets and other ownership interests.  The Committee is expected to conclude its work and make recommendations to the Board by October 2020, and CenterPoint Energy plans to hold an investor day by early 2021 to update stakeholders on its strategic business plan. 

The Committee will be comprised of five members, including current Board directors Martin Nesbitt and Phillip Smith, and new Board directors David Lesar (who will chair the Committee) and Barry SmithermanJohn Somerhalder II will remain Interim President and Chief Executive Officer through at least June 30, 2020, and in this capacity, will serve as the fifth member of the Committee.  The CEO position on the Committee would be filled by the individual selected by the Board to serve as the Company's permanent CEO once appointed. To facilitate the Committee's seamless work and to ensure its continuity, the Committee's chairperson will join the Board's sub-committee tasked with supporting the Board's ongoing permanent CEO selection process. The full Business Review and Evaluation Committee charter can be found on CenterPoint Energy's website.

Regarding the comprehensive approach to value creation announced today, Somerhalder said: "We are pleased that these sophisticated and experienced investors have chosen to invest with CenterPoint Energy. All of the investors in this transaction have a proven ability in collaborating to drive substantial value enhancement and bring strong, long-term credibility in the U.S. utility industry.  With no further anticipated equity needs through 2022, these equity investments provide a transformational opportunity for the Company to operate from a position of heightened strength and flexibility while remaining focused on providing safe, reliable, affordable and sustainable service to our customers and executing on the wide range of long-term opportunities across our utility businesses. The opportunities before us to create sustainable value have also been strengthened by the Board's appointment of two new outstanding directors with critical expertise, leadership experience and relevant skillsets, and the creation of the new Business Review and Evaluation Committee."

Jeff Rosenbaum, Senior Portfolio Manager at Elliott Management, said: "We believe the transformative balance-sheet and governance enhancements announced today will have a positive impact on CenterPoint Energy's future. The Company's premium regulated utilities already benefit from strong service territories and plentiful growth opportunities. We are confident that this watershed equity transaction, which will address the Company's capital needs for years to come, combined with the addition of new perspectives and processes to the Board, will position CenterPoint Energy to benefit from meaningful value-creation opportunities in the near- and long-term.  We are pleased to have worked with CenterPoint Energy's Board over the past several months, and we thank them for this collaborative outcome."

Legal Advisors

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and Baker Botts L.L.P. served as legal counsel to CenterPoint Energy.  Ropes & Gray LLP acted as counsel to Elliott in connection with the investment.

About David J. Lesar 
Dave Lesar was named the interim CEO of Health Care Service Corporation in July 2019, having joined the company's board of directors in 2018, and will step down as HCSC's interim CEO on June 1, 2020. HCSC is the largest privately-held health insurer in the U.S. He was the Chairman of the Board and CEO of Halliburton from 2000 to 2017 and Executive Chairman of the Board from June 2017 until December 2018. At the company, he also served as CFO from 1995 through May 1997 and President and Chief Operating Officer from May 1997 through August 2010. Mr. Lesar joined Halliburton in 1993. He has also served on the board of directors of several companies, most recently Agrium, Inc. as well as Lyondell Chemical Co., Southern Co., Cordant Technologies, and Mirant. Trained as a Certified Public Accountant, Mr. Lesar spent 16 years at Arthur Andersen where he began in 1978. He received both his B.S. and MBA from the University of Wisconsin.

About Barry T. Smitherman
Barry Smitherman is the principal of Barry Smitherman, P.C. and a former partner in the energy regulatory group at Vinson & Elkins LLP. He served as Texas Railroad Commissioner from 2011 through 2014, and was Chairman of the Commission from March 2012 through August 2014. Prior to joining the TX RRC, Mr. Smitherman was Chairman of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, a position he held from November 2007 through July 2011. His service as a PUCT Commissioner began in April 2004. Over this time period, he served two terms on the U.S. Department of Energy Electricity Advisory Committee, on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), Chairman of the NARUC Gas Committee, on the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) Board of Directors, and on the Regional State Committee of the Southwest Power Pool (SPP).  Prior to beginning public service, Mr. Smitherman spent 16 years as a public finance investment banker with J.P. Morgan Securities, The First Boston Corporation, Lazard, and Banc One Capital Markets.

About Elliott
Elliott Management Corporation is a multi-strategy fund manager with approximately $40 billion in assets under management. Its flagship fund, Elliott Associates, L.P., was founded in 1977, making it one of the oldest funds of its kind under continuous management. The Elliott funds' investors include pension plans, sovereign wealth funds, endowments, foundations, funds-of-funds, high net worth individuals and families, and employees of the firm.

About CenterPoint Energy
Headquartered in Houston, Texas, CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (NYSE: CNP) is an energy delivery company with regulated utility businesses in eight states and a competitive energy businesses footprint in more than 30 states. Through its electric transmission & distribution, power generation and natural gas distribution businesses, the company serves more than 7 million metered customers in Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma and Texas. CenterPoint Energy's competitive energy businesses include natural gas marketing and energy-related services; energy efficiency and sustainability solutions; and owning and operating intrastate natural gas pipeline systems.  As of December 31, 2019, the company owns nearly $35 billion in assets and also owns 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 9,900 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 150 years. For more information, visit CenterPointEnergy.com.

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 capital investments, future earnings, future equity and capital needs or the lack thereof, the impact of the announced transactions, future balance sheet strength, credit metrics and overall credit profile, utility earnings growth or payout ratios, the mandate and activities of the board's business review and evaluation committee and any future actions that may be taken by the company, future financial performance and results of operations, including, but not limited to earnings guidance, impact of COVID-19, including with respect to regulatory actions, 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 discussed in CenterPoint Energy's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019, CenterPoint Energy's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 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:
Alicia Dixon
Phone 713.207.5885
Investors:
Dave Mordy
Phone 713.207.6500

 

SOURCE CenterPoint Energy, Inc.

CenterPoint Energy urges customers to follow important electric safety tips

Houston – May 6, 2020 CenterPoint Energy continues to be committed to providing customers throughout its service territory with safe and reliable electricity during COVID-19.

"We recognize that customers are facing many challenges resulting from COVID-19. Some of our customers who are staying at home are using this time to do house repairs and work in their yards," said Randy Pryor, vice president of Distribution Operations for CenterPoint Energy. "As we continue to work safely to deliver power to our customers' homes and businesses, we ask our customers to always be safe around electric appliances, equipment and power lines."

CenterPoint Energy is also commemorating National Electric Safety Month in May. The company would like to take this opportunity to share important electric safety tips with customers:

  • Stay away from downed power lines. Always assume downed lines/wires are live and potentially dangerous if contacted.
    • Do not go near downed lines or fallen wires.
    • Keep your distance from objects touching downed lines (tree limbs, vehicles, fences, etc.).
    • If someone already made contact with a power line, do not try to rescue them.
    • Report downed power lines to 713-207-2222 or 800-332-7143.
  • Be aware of and stay at least 10 feet away from overhead lines, including any objects you're holding or touching even when you're on the ground. Contact with overhead electrical lines can cause serious injuries or fatalities.
  • Before starting an outdoor project, remember to do the following:
    • Look up and become aware of overhead lines;
    • Carry long objects horizontally, whenever possible;
    • If your project could bring a person, equipment, objects or tools within 10 feet of an overhead power line, you must contact CenterPoint Energy in advance to discuss options for making the worksite safe, which may include temporary de-energization; and 
    • Be aware of underground electrical lines. Contact 811 at least 48 hours in advance if you plan to dig so that underground lines owned by utilities can be located. Note that property owners are responsible for locating customer-owned equipment, such as underground electrical drops.
  • Stay away from damaged or vandalized equipment and report it by calling 713-207-2222 or 800-332-7143.
  • Don't play near electrical equipment.
    • Never climb trees close to power lines.
    • Never climb or hang on guy wires, transformers, utility poles or transmission towers.
    • Never enter electrical substations.
  • Keep toys far from power lines.
    • Kites can conduct electricity from power lines, electrical wires or lightning.
    • Never place trampolines or swimming pools near overhead electrical lines.
    • Drones, balls, balloons and other airborne toys can damage or short-circuit electrical lines.

"By taking simple precautions, our customers can take advantage of the extra time at home while ensuring the safety of themselves and their family," added Pryor.

If customers would like to learn more about additional safety steps that the company is taking to protect them and their employees from COVID-19, visit the Safety & Reliability page. For more information and other resources: