CenterPoint Energy remains committed to health and safety of customers, employees, contractors and communities
Company continues delivery of safe, reliable energy to customers
2020-03-16T05:00:00Z

Houston – March 16, 2020 – As a provider of essential energy services to customers across its footprint, CenterPoint Energy continues to monitor the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). During this time, the company is reassuring its customers that comprehensive plans and processes are in place to help ensure safe, reliable energy delivery to electricity customers across greater Houston and southwest Indiana, as well as to natural gas customers in Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma and Texas.

"We are committed to the safety and well-being of our customers, employees, contractors and communities as the Coronavirus situation continues to evolve," said John W. Somerhalder II , interim president and chief executive officer of CenterPoint Energy. "CenterPoint Energy has activated its Pandemic Preparedness Plan and we continue to monitor updates and follow protocols from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO) and state and local officials. We are also working closely with all regulatory agencies, government entities and emergency management organizations across our service territory to help ensure uninterrupted electricity and natural gas service delivery to our customers."

CenterPoint Energy will support customers who may need payment assistance, arrangements or extensions during the Coronavirus situation. In addition, the company has temporarily suspended natural gas service disconnections for nonpayment. For customers in southwest Indiana, this includes the temporary suspension of electric service disconnections.

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

  • Equipping employees with hand sanitizer in their vehicles as well as latex gloves and shoe covers – in addition to standard protective equipment;
  • Directing field employees to attempt to resolve service issues without entering homes or businesses;
  • Following social distancing guidelines and wearing protective equipment if entering customers' homes and businesses to provide service;
  • Implementing a telework approach for employees who can perform their job responsibilities from home or a remote location;
  • Increasing cleaning and disinfecting frequency of facilities and vehicles;
  • Leveraging technology to minimize face-to-face contact and meetings;
  • Emphasizing good hygiene, including washing and sanitizing hands;
  • Requiring employees to stay home if they are feeling sick;
  • Suspending international air travel and non-essential domestic air travel; and
  • Minimizing contact with visitors and others at company facilities.

CenterPoint Energy continues to provide regular updates to its employees and has established a Coronavirus information page on the company's intranet site, with resources and current prevention recommendations from official sources, such as the CDC and WHO.

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CenterPoint Energy provides update on electric service restoration efforts in southeast Houston

Houston – Jan. 28, 2023 – CenterPoint Energy today provided an update on its restoration efforts following the EF3 tornado and severe weather conditions in southeast Houston on Tuesday, Jan. 24:

  • National Weather Service Houston confirms tornado will be preliminarily rated EF3, with an estimated maximum path length of 18 miles, maximum path width of 0.66 miles, and maximum wind speed of 140 mph
  • Nearly all remaining electric outages restored today; isolated outages expected to be restored tomorrow to customers able to receive service
  • Some customer outages may be attributable to customer-owned equipment damage caused by extreme weather
  • Company providing support to those in need through the CenterPoint Energy Foundation

Due to the extensive damage to the area's electric infrastructure, CenterPoint Energy crews have worked since Tuesday, Jan. 24 to rebuild parts of the electric system and replace eight transmission structures, and more than 290 poles, 90 transformers, 50 fuses, and 80 downed wire spans. Damage resulted in electric service interruption to more than 200,000 customers, with the highest concentration of outages in Baytown, Deer Park and Pasadena. As of 12 p.m. CT, there are fewer than 500 customer outages in southeast Houston. Overall, more than 99.9% of CenterPoint Energy's customers across its greater Houston service area are currently receiving electric service.

"The EF3 tornado and severe weather conditions inflicted catastrophic damage on communities across southeast Houston. Our hearts go out to all our neighbors who were affected by this natural disaster," said Lynnae Wilson, CenterPoint Energy's Senior Vice President, Electric Business. "As a result of the tornado's extensive destruction, many parts of our system needed to be completely rebuilt by our crews. We greatly appreciate our customers' continued patience as we work around-the-clock to restore service. We will not rest until the lights are back on for every customer who can take electric service."

CenterPoint Energy noted that the extreme weather may have caused damage to customer-owned equipment, such as the customer's service entrances, risers and/or weatherhead, the point where power enters the home through an electric service drop, which is often a pipe located on the side of the residence or building. Since this equipment is owned and maintained by the customer, if it is damaged, customers will need to contact a qualified electrician to make repairs before the company is able to restore service to them. Once repairs are made, the customer or the electrician should request a permit from the city and contact CenterPoint Energy's Customer Service at 713-207-2222 to request a service reconnect.

If customers do not have damage to their service entrances, risers or weatherhead, and their power has not been restored, they should check and reset the circuit breakers. If service is still not restored, customers should contact CenterPoint Energy's Customer Service at 713-207-2222 and report that their service is still off.

Following new Texas legislation approved in 2021, CenterPoint Energy also deployed temporary emergency mobile generation in Pasadena, one of the hardest-hit areas, to aid in restoring power to Turner Elementary School and Bondy Intermediate School, while repairs to extensive damage took place. This allowed the two schools to reopen on Friday, Jan. 27 and resume operations.

The company also said that its natural gas supply continues to remain reliable and stable. If customers smell the "rotten egg" odor of natural gas, they should immediately leave on foot, go to a safe location and call both 911 and CenterPoint Energy. In addition, before cleaning debris, digging on their property or to locate underground natural gas lines and other underground utility lines, customers should call 811, the nationwide Call Before You Dig number. 

Wilson added, "From elected officials, emergency personnel and first responders, to nonprofits, volunteers and neighbors who helped neighbors, we would like to recognize the countless people who are answering the call during our area's time of need."

CenterPoint Energy is supporting relief and recovery efforts across southeast Houston through its foundation. The CenterPoint Energy Foundation has contributed $10,000 each to the following five organizations: Salvation Army East Harris County; Baker Ripley Pasadena Campus; Clothed by Faith; United Way of Greater Baytown and Chambers County; and the Pasadena Animal Shelter.

"CenterPoint Energy is leading the way to provide community support to the hardest-hit communities through our foundation. In addition to the contributions, the company has a program to match employee donations made to nonprofits supporting these efforts dollar-for-dollar and double their impact," said Wilson. 


As extended cold snap arrives CenterPoint Energy offers tips to save energy while staying safe and warm

Minneapolis – Jan. 27, 2023 – With an extended cold snap in the forecast, CenterPoint Energy is reminding its customers about simple energy-saving and safety steps they can take to help lower their heating bills while continuing to stay safe and warm in the cold weather.

Energy-Saving Tips

  • Make sure your heating system is operating safely and efficiently. An annual inspection and tune-up are recommended, and make sure it is performed by a qualified technician.
  • Change or clean your furnace filter regularly. Good air flow is essential for maximizing the efficiency and life of your furnace. Check that the outside vents are not blocked by snow or ice.
  • Turn down the thermostat. To save on heating costs when temperatures are below zero, consider lowering your thermostat by 4-6 degrees at night or when you're away for at least eight hours. With a programmable thermostat, it's easy to have your heating system work around your schedule. Also check that any thermostat batteries are fresh.
  • Make your home more airtight to keep warm air in and cold air out. Use caulk or weather-stripping to seal leaks around doors, windows and other openings such as pipes or ducts. Close fireplace dampers when not in use so you don't lose heat.
  • Keep curtains and blinds open during the day to allow the sun's heat to warm your house. Close curtains and blinds at night so you don't lose heat when the sun goes down. Also, set your ceiling fans to turn clockwise to circulate warm air.


To learn more about energy-saving tips and efficiency, visit CenterPointEnergy.com/SaveEnergy,

Safety Tips

  • Use space heaters safely. Use a space heater with an automatic shut-off, and keep children, pets and all items at least three feet away. A space heater that uses gas, propane or wood should be vented to the outside. Stoves and ovens should never be used for space heating.
  • Test your carbon monoxide (CO) and smoke alarms to make sure they work properly. Change batteries regularly. Alarms don't last forever, so replace according to the manufacturer's instructions. 
  • Know the signs of CO poisoning. Early symptoms such as headache and fatigue are similar to the flu, but without a fever. Continued CO exposure can lead to more severe headaches, dizziness, nausea, difficulty thinking clearly and fainting. If everyone in a household is experiencing symptoms, it may be CO poisoning. Get fresh air immediately and call 911.
  • Immediately report a suspected natural gas leak. If you smell the "rotten egg" odor of natural gas, immediately leave on foot, go to a safe location and call both 911 and CenterPoint Energy at 800-296-9815. Don't use electric switches/outlets, phones (including cell phones), drive or start a car inside or close to the location, or do anything that could cause a spark.

 
To learn more about natural gas safety, visit CenterPointEnergy.com/Safety.

Customers who believe they may have trouble paying their heating bills this winter should contact CenterPoint Energy to set up a payment arrangement and find out if they are eligible for energy assistance that can help pay their bills. To learn more, visit CenterPointEnergy.com/NaturalGasCost.

CenterPoint Energy is Minnesota's largest natural gas utility, serving the energy needs of 900,000 residential and business customers.


CenterPoint Energy makes significant progress restoring power after tornado impacts service area

Houston – Jan. 25, 2023 – Following yesterday's extreme weather and tornado that impacted several communities in the greater Houston area, including Baytown, Deer Park and Pasadena, CenterPoint Energy continues to make significant progress in restoring power to affected customers.

  • Tornado caused significant damage to company's electric system in southeast Houston, including Baytown, Deer Park and Pasadena
  • Crews working around-the-clock to restore service to impacted customers as safely and quickly as possible
  • Depending on damage, some customers may need to make repairs to their customer-owned equipment before they can receive electric service
  • Before cleaning debris, customers should call 811 to locate underground natural gas lines and other underground utility lines


Assessments of CenterPoint Energy's electric system will be substantially completed today, and the company expects its customer outage numbers to continue to decline. As of 2 p.m. today, CenterPoint Energy has restored power to more than 163,000 customers in the past 24 hours. The company also expects to have the majority of the remaining customer outages restored by the end of the day tomorrow. In southeast Houston, due to the significant damage that will take time to repair, restoration work will be essentially complete by the end of the day Sunday, with some isolated outages addressed thereafter.

"Thanks to our dedicated crews who have been working around-the-clock, we have made outstanding progress safely restoring service to our customers. As we complete our system damage assessments, we are finding significant and complex damage to our infrastructure, including more than 150 damaged electric poles that need to be replaced," said Lynnae Wilson, Senior Vice President, Electric Utility at CenterPoint Energy. "We appreciate our customers' continued patience and understanding as we work to address the more challenging outage issues caused by the tornado's extensive damage to our electrical infrastructure in southeast Houston."  

Brad Tutunjian, Vice President, Distribution Operations and Service Delivery at CenterPoint Energy, added, "CenterPoint Energy is collaborating with contract crew resources to bolster our restoration efforts. These additional crews from surrounding areas are arriving today and will work with our team to make necessary repairs to restore service to impacted customers as safely and quickly as possible."

In addition to damaging CenterPoint Energy's electric infrastructure and equipment, severe weather may have caused damage to customer-owned equipment. Customers should check their weatherhead, the point where power enters the home through an electric service drop, which is often a pipe located on the side of the residence or building. If the equipment is damaged, customers will need to contact a qualified electrician to make repairs before the company is able to restore service to them. 

CenterPoint Energy urges customers to always stay at least 35 feet away from downed power lines and report them to the company at 713-207-2222. For latest information on power outages*:

 


*Please note: Restoration times may be delayed as crews continue to assess damages.

The company's natural gas system fared well. Natural gas crews will continue to address natural gas issues found during system assessments. If customers smell the "rotten egg" odor of natural gas, they should immediately leave on foot, go to a safe location and call both 911 and CenterPoint Energy at 713-659-2111 or 888-876-5786.

In addition, before cleaning debris, digging on their property or to locate underground natural gas lines and other underground utility lines, customers should call 811, the nationwide Call Before You Dig number. 

"The greater Houston area is home to the CenterPoint Energy crews and support personnel who are working hard to get our customers' power back on," added Wilson. "I want to thank all the first responders, emergency personnel, elected officials, nonprofit organizations, and neighbors who are answering the calls to help those in need." 



CenterPoint Energy announces organizational changes

New streamlined structure supports continued execution of long-term growth strategy and advances company's succession planning efforts

HOUSTON, Jan. 3, 2023 - CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (NYSE: CNP) today announced organizational changes designed to further strengthen execution of the company's long-term growth strategy, its service to customers and communities, value-creation for stakeholders, operational efficiencies, and corporate governance. The streamlined structure, which is effective today, builds upon the previously announced promotion of Jason Wells to President and Chief Operating Officer, effective Jan. 1, with Dave Lesar continuing to serve as Chief Executive Officer. Wells will report to Lesar.

"Since my appointment to CEO more than two years ago, I have been laser focused on pursuing a strategy of unlocking the strength and potential of our company to position us among the premium-valued utilities in our industry," said Lesar. "Accomplishing these strategic priorities starts with our most important resource – our diverse and talented workforce – and the company's continuing investments in developing future leaders to ensure we have a deep succession pipeline."

Lesar added, "Today's leadership promotions and appointments reflect a comprehensive succession planning process that we have developed at the direction of our Board Chairman and full Board of Directors. With Jason at the helm as our President and Chief Operating Officer, he has designed an outstanding organizational structure that I strongly believe will position our company for success for years to come."

Wells said, "As we execute on our long-term growth strategy, our performance continues to require a strong, diverse and talented team that is committed to quality results for our customers, shareholders and communities. It is critical that our employees are empowered to deliver on the opportunities for our company as we implement our industry-leading capital investment plan that is focused on safety, reliability, growth, and enabling cleaner energy investments to benefit our customers and investors. I believe the streamlined organizational structure we are introducing today will help us deliver that value proposition."

Focused Regulatory Services and Government Affairs

With several strategic regulatory and legislative priorities ahead in 2023 and beyond, CenterPoint Energy's Regulatory Services and Government Affairs organization will continue to be a core component in the company's long-term success. Jason Ryan, Executive Vice President, Regulatory Services and Government Affairs will continue to lead this effort. With six rate cases over the next 18 months, Ryan's nearly 25 years of experience and expertise will be critical in leading these business, operational and financial imperatives. He will report to Wells.

Integrated Electric Business and Operations

CenterPoint Energy will combine its Houston Electric and Indiana Electric businesses under a single leadership structure to further leverage best practices across its operations. Lynnae Wilson, formerly Senior Vice President, Houston Electric, has been appointed Senior Vice President, Electric Business. In this role, she will lead all areas of Houston Electric and Indiana Electric, serving more than 2.7 million metered customers in the greater Houston and southwestern Indiana areas, and execution of the company's generation transition plan. Wilson has 20 years of experience in combined electric and natural gas utilities with CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies. She will report to Wells.

Within the electric business, CenterPoint Energy announced an appointment and promotion designed to further its focus on future growth, grid modernization and strategic investments. Eric Easton, formerly Vice President, High Voltage and Real-Time Operations, has been named Vice President, Grid Transformation and Investment Strategy. In this newly created role, Easton will lead the electric business in proactively planning for the future, including transformative opportunities, such as distributed generation, electric vehicles and mass electrification, as well as focusing on plans for modernization and resiliency. Rina Harris, formerly Director, Business Development, Southern Region, has been promoted to Vice President, Business Development. Harris will be responsible for business development and the industrial load growth opportunities across the company's electric business footprint. Easton and Harris will report to Wilson.

Integrated Natural Gas Business and Operations

CenterPoint Energy will also integrate all aspects of its natural gas business under a single leadership structure. Darin Carroll, formerly Senior Vice President, Operations Support, has been appointed Senior Vice President, Natural Gas Business. He will lead all areas of the company's natural gas business that serves approximately 4.2 million customers across a six-state footprint. During his 15-year tenure with CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies, Carroll has held diverse utility leadership roles in natural gas and electric operations, as well as business process optimization. He will report to Wells.

Unified Customer Experience Functions

To further align the company's customer service and experience function with its long-term success, CenterPoint Energy has promoted Tony Gardner, formerly Vice President, Customer Experience, to Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer. In this capacity, he will provide strategic leadership to CenterPoint Energy's customer experience and oversee all customer functions. Gardner has nearly 20 years of experience in customer-focused roles. He will report to Wells.

Enhanced Execution, Efficiency and Governance

To continue the company's strong execution of the fundamentals of its industry-leading strategy, Steve Greenley, formerly Senior Vice President, Generation Development, has been appointed Senior Vice President, Utility Operations Support. In this capacity, Greenley and his enterprise safety and technical training, operations support, energy solutions and business services, analytics, and facilities management teams will support the company's electric and natural gas businesses. Greenley has held various leadership roles in natural gas, electric and customer operations over the course of his more than 20 years at CenterPoint Energy. He will report to Wells.

Within the Utility Operations Support organization, the company announced a promotion to build on its momentum in continuous improvement to drive additional efficiencies and improvements across the enterprise. Kate Porter, formerly Director, Continuous Improvement and Data Analytics, has been promoted to Vice President, Enterprise Operational Excellence. She will report to Greenley. 

To further strengthen the company's governance across its technology-related operations and functions, Kenny Coleman, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, will now report to Wells.

Experienced Corporate Function Leaders

As previously announced, a new CFO will be named following the company's currently ongoing search. The CFO position will report to Lesar. Wells will continue to serve as CFO until his successor has been named. Monica Karuturi, Executive Vice President and General Counsel and Lynne Harkel-Rumford, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer will also continue to report to Lesar.

Karuturi will add the leadership of strategic planning, cybersecurity and Energy Systems Group to her current areas of responsibility. Harkel-Rumford will add the leadership of marketing to her responsibilities.

Lesar said, "I believe our entire team is well prepared to deliver on the opportunities for CenterPoint Energy as we continue to execute on our path to premium. These leaders will be instrumental in advancing our strategic priorities, sharing their experience and expertise across the organization, empowering colleagues to develop their careers and achieve their full potential, and strengthening our diverse and inclusive culture."

The company also announced that Scott Doyle, Executive Vice President, Utility Operations and Gregg Knight, Executive Vice President, Customer Transformation and Business Services have left the company as their positions have been eliminated.

"On behalf of everyone at CenterPoint Energy, we would like to extend our sincere thanks to Scott and Gregg for their years of service and valuable contributions within our company, across our industry, and in our communities," said Lesar and Wells. "We wish them all the very best in the future."

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 executive succession planning and timing thereof, CenterPoint Energy's ability to execute on its long-term strategy, expected benefits resulting from the change in leadership structure of CenterPoint Energy, 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 disruption to the global supply chain; (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, 2021, CenterPoint Energy's Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 2022, June 30, 2022 and September 30, 2022 and other reports CenterPoint Energy or its subsidiaries may file from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

About CenterPoint Energy

As the only investor-owned electric and natural 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 Indiana, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Ohio, and Texas. As of September 30, 2022, the company owned approximately $35 billion in assets. With approximately 8,900 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 150 years. For more information, visit CenterPointEnergy.com.

For more information contact
Media:
Communications
Media.Relations@CenterPointEnergy.com  
Investors:
Jackie Richert/Ben Vallejo
Phone 713.207.6500

SOURCE CenterPoint Energy, Inc.

CenterPoint Energy response to Clarksville and New Albany carbon monoxide calls

Evansville – Dec. 27, 2022 – CenterPoint Energy has issued the following statement in southeastern Indiana:

At this time, there is no indication of issues with CenterPoint Energy's natural gas system, and it continues to operate safely. Since calls began coming in on the morning of Christmas Eve, we have been working with the Clarksville and New Albany Fire Departments to respond to the increase in carbon monoxide calls in the area, including having local management from CenterPoint Energy Operations on the ground to support Clarksville and New Albany emergency responders. 

We always take emergency calls very seriously and have responded to, and investigated, the potential causes of carbon monoxide. We found the majority of calls CenterPoint Energy responded to were due to improper appliance venting. Additionally, the extreme weather, including freezing temperatures, high wind gusts and snow/ice accumulation were also contributing factors to further issues with customer appliances as their equipment was stressed during the event. 

As is industry practice, CenterPoint Energy has utilized a propane air mix to supplement natural gas to assist during times of high system demand. The propane-air peak shaving plant which serves a portion of the area has been in service since the 1970s and is regularly monitored and maintained to industry standards. It has been used during past extreme weather events, including last year during a similar cold weather event, to help safely and reliably deliver natural gas service to customers in the Clarksville and New Albany areas. 

We want to echo our earlier reminder on exercising caution when utilizing fuel-burning appliances. Carbon monoxide can result from incomplete combustion, and proper venting is essential to ensure safe use. We will continue to partner with local agencies and assess any issues that may arise. Our thoughts are with those families who have been affected during the holidays.