CenterPoint Energy announces 10-year fleet electrification goals
Company continues to take significant steps to reduce carbon emissions and use innovative technology to transition toward a cleaner energy future
2020-09-28T05:00:00Z

Houston – Sept. 28, 2020 – Leading energy partner CenterPoint Energy today announced a goal to replace 100 percent of its current electric operations light-duty fleet vehicles, such as cars, vans and sport utility vehicles (SUVs), with electric vehicles in Houston and Evansville, Ind., by 2030. The company has an ongoing commitment to ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable energy, while leveraging innovative technology to continue reducing emissions and transition the communities it serves to a clean energy future. 

"CenterPoint Energy has continued to offset our carbon footprint and promote cleaner air by replacing fossil-fueled vehicles and equipment with alternative power choices since 2011," said Kenny Mercado, CenterPoint Energy's Senior Vice President, Electric Utility. "We strive to lead by example and have steadily increased our fleet electrification as suitable vehicles and technology have come available."

The company has a plan to replace 50 percent of current electric operations light-duty fleet vehicles by 2025 and complete the replacement by 2030. In addition, 5 percent of electric operations heavy-duty vehicles will be replaced by 2025 and 10 percent by 2030. As the market evolves, emission reduction goals for all classes of vehicles will be re-evaluated.

To reduce emissions, CenterPoint Energy continues to invest in infrastructure modernization, as well as research and development projects. At the same time, the company remains committed to support the communities where it operates with their climate action goals, focusing on driving lower emissions across the natural gas value chain to ensure its continued role in supporting the transition of the nation's power generation fleet to meet lower carbon emission goals.

This year, CenterPoint Energy introduced its Carbon Policy with a goal to reduce its operational emissions by 70 percent by 2035 and emissions attributable to natural gas usage in heating, appliances and equipment within the residential and commercial sectors by 20 to 30 percent by 2040. The company is among the first energy delivery companies to make an emissions-reduction commitment across a multi-state footprint.

CenterPoint Energy's fleet electrification plan aligns with the City of Houston's Climate Action Plan goal to electrify 100 percent of non-emergency light-duty fleet by 2030. The company is a founding member of EVolve Houston, a coalition of sustainability-minded civic, business, and academic leaders who seek to accelerate clean transportation through electrification in the Greater Houston area. CenterPoint Energy is also collaborating with the City of Evansville on the creation and implementation of their Climate Action Plan. By 2050, Evansville will be a regional leader in addressing climate change and a zero-waste community, powered by renewable energy, where all people have access to efficient transportation alternatives, public green spaces, clean air and water, and locally sourced, fresh food.

About CenterPoint Energy

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

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CenterPoint Energy prepares for winter weather conditions

Houston – Jan. 18, 2022 – CenterPoint Energy has made preparations for the potential impact from cold temperatures that might affect the region during the remaining winter months. The company is focused on service reliability and continuously prepares for seasonal weather events.

“From cold fronts to hurricanes, we are constantly monitoring weather conditions that could impact our ability to serve our customers. Our preparations take place year-round in anticipation of the various potential seasonal events that occur in our area,” said Scott Doyle, Executive Vice President, Utility Operations. “Whenever severe weather is expected, we begin preparations, start executing on established restoration plans, and deploy the necessary personnel, resources and equipment to restore electricity and natural gas service as safely and quickly as possible.”

Doyle added, “Since the February 2021 winter storm, we have taken additional steps and measures to ensure that we are ready and prepared for winter weather across greater Houston and surrounding communities.”

Some of CenterPoint Energy’s winter weather preparations include: 

  • Completed additional emergency preparedness training to ensure personnel are ready to respond to extreme events.
  • Worked with suppliers to ensure necessary materials for restoration efforts.
  • Hardened transmission system to enhance resiliency.
  • Undergone additional thorough inspections to ensure electrical facilities, including substations and main feeder lines, are ready for high demand and cooler temperatures. This is in addition to regularly scheduled facility inspections and maintenance. 
  • Completed field inspections in accordance with Winter Weather Readiness requirements from the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), and recent legislation.
  • Complied with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, North American Electric Reliability Corporation, Railroad Commission of Texas and PUCT, following all weatherization rules.  
  • Met with regulators, local and state elected officials, and emergency management personnel across its service territory to better understand community needs, including communications, response plans and critical facility designations.
  • Expanded customer weatherization programs targeted toward limited and low-income households.
  • Deployed a voluntary load management program to reduce non-residential customers’ electric consumption for short periods during emergency events so more residential power can remain on.
  • Leveraged enhanced system load rotation automation technology to allow customers to have more regular and predictable outage intervals should a load shed event occur.
  • Received and processed more than 100 critical load applications related to the natural gas industry since the February 2021 winter storm. 
  • Coordinated communications plan in place to inform customers about weather conditions, potential impact on service, and the company’s restoration efforts to its customers through various channels, including Facebook, Twitter, Power Alert Service, Outage Tracker and its website.

In addition, the Texas Legislature passed several new laws in 2021 that provide Transmission and Distribution Utilities (TDUs), like CenterPoint Energy, with new capabilities to further improve reliable energy delivery for their customers, including temporary, limited emergency energy generation during certain widespread outages, as described below. 

CenterPoint Energy has entered into lease agreements with Life Cycle Power, a company that employs a diverse fleet of mobile dual-fuel turbine generators, for emergency back-up generation resources. Through the agreements, CenterPoint Energy will receive up to approximately 500 megawatts of total capacity to be deployed across its greater Houston electric footprint. The mobile generation would support the grid and could allow up to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses, that could otherwise be without power, to have electricity during an extreme emergency event.

CenterPoint Energy President and CEO Dave Lesar said, “We have made and will continue to make prudent, strategic investments to support of the safety, reliability and resiliency of our systems for the benefit of our customers and communities.”

Lesar added, “As the ‘poles and wires’ company that delivers energy to our customers, the temporary back-up mobile generation resources will be critical in aiding our ability to continue serving customers during future widespread power outages from weather events or other unanticipated widespread outages across our electric footprint here in Texas. They will also help us to support ERCOT when it calls for a load shed event and ultimately help our customers.”

Under the new statute, a “widespread power outage” is an event that results in a loss of electric power that affects a significant number of distribution customers of a TDU; that has lasted or is expected to last for at least eight hours; and that results in a risk to public safety. TDUs may use temporary back-up generation resources during widespread power outages in which ERCOT has ordered a TDU to shed load or the TDU’s distribution facilities are not being fully served by the bulk power system under normal operations.

The company’s natural gas system performed very well during the February 2021 winter storm, with customers experiencing minimal impact. As part of its continuous improvement efforts, CenterPoint Energy also took additional steps to enhance natural gas service reliability in the greater Houston area and surrounding communities: 

  • Reinforced natural gas system with multiple reliability and capacity improvement projects.
  • Identified and assigned technicians to key stations ahead of cold weather events.
  • Adjusted locations of electronic pressure monitoring devices to monitor system low points, based on customer growth.
  • Added a fourth propane-air peak shaving facility to supplement natural gas supply to CenterPoint Energy’s natural gas distribution system, enhancing reliability for customers during periods of peak demand.
  • Coordinated with the Texas Energy Reliability Council and Railroad Commission of Texas to identify and ensure operations of critical gas infrastructure for natural gas and electric grid reliability.

CenterPoint Energy continues to encourage customers to have an emergency plan, especially if they depend on electricity for life-sustaining equipment and natural gas or electricity to heat their homes. 

For the latest information on power outages:




CenterPoint Energy completes sale of its Arkansas and Oklahoma natural gas distribution businesses to Summit Utilities

Houston – January 10, 2022 – CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (NYSE: CNP) today announced that it has successfully completed the previously announced sale of its natural gas distribution utilities in Arkansas and Oklahoma to Summit Utilities, Inc. The assets include approximately 17,000 miles of main pipeline in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texarkana, serving more than 500,000 residential and business customers.

The transaction received all necessary federal and state regulatory approvals, including from the Arkansas Public Service Commission, Oklahoma Corporation Commission and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Summit will immediately assume responsibility for serving CenterPoint Energy's former customers in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texarkana.

CenterPoint Energy Executive Vice President, Utility Operations Scott Doyle said, "We want to thank our employees and those of Summit for the successful completion of this transaction. We will be working together for a seamless transition for the benefit of the customers throughout the service territories."

CenterPoint Energy President and CEO Dave Lesar said, "Completing the sale of these natural gas distribution businesses will help us achieve a number of our strategic goals, including efficiently funding our long-term capital investment plans across our regulated utility businesses without issuing external equity, driving industry-leading rate base growth, and allowing us to focus our efforts on executing our plan across fewer jurisdictions."

Lesar added, "At our recent Analyst Day, we outlined a pathway towards becoming a premium utility, including an updated five-year capital plan of more than $18 billion, as well as a first-ever 10-year capital plan of more than $40 billion to serve our growing customer base. These investments will be dedicated to safety, reliability, growth and enabling clean energy investments to benefit our customers and investors."

About CenterPoint Energy, Inc.

As the only investor-owned electric and gas utility based in Texas, CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (NYSE: CNP) is an energy delivery company with electric transmission and distribution, power generation and natural gas distribution operations that, after the closing of the Arkansas/Oklahoma transaction, serve nearly 7 million metered customers in Indiana, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Ohio and Texas. As of September 30, 2021, the company owned approximately $37 billion in assets. With approximately 9,000 total employees after the closing of the Arkansas/Oklahoma transaction, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 150 years. For more information, visit CenterPointEnergy.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. When used in this news release, the words "anticipate," "believe," "continue," "could," "estimate," "expect," "forecast," "goal," "intend," "may," "objective," "plan," "potential," "predict," "projection," "should," "target," "will" or other similar words are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based upon assumptions of management which are believed to be reasonable at the time made and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. Actual events and results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Any statements in this news release regarding future events, such as CenterPoint Energy's capital investments, rate base growth and its ability to achieve it, financing plans (including future equity issuances), and future financial performance and results of operations and any other statements that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements.  Each forward-looking statement contained in this news release speaks only as of the date of this release. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by the provided forward-looking information include risks and uncertainties relating to: (1) the impact of COVID-19; (2) financial market conditions; (3) general economic conditions; (4) the timing and impact of future regulatory and legislative decisions; (5) effects of competition; (6) weather variations; (7) changes in business plans; and (8) other factors, risks and uncertainties discussed in CenterPoint Energy's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020, CenterPoint Energy's Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 2021, June 30, 2021 and September 30, 2021 and other reports CenterPoint Energy or its subsidiaries may file from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

CenterPoint Energy natural gas crews depart for Colorado to support restoration efforts following wildfires

Houston – Jan. 2, 2022 – This morning, CenterPoint Energy deployed natural gas mutual assistance crews and support personnel from Shreveport, La., to assist Xcel Energy with natural gas restoration efforts in Boulder, Colorado due to damages caused by recent wildfires impacting the area.  

"Our natural gas technicians are skilled to perform in any type of conditions, just like they do for our customers at home," said Tony Gardner, Vice President, Louisiana/Mississippi Gas, at CenterPoint Energy. "We are fully committed to helping restore service to affected customers as safely and quickly as possible."

CenterPoint Energy mutual assistance crews are also departing from other parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, and will arrive in Boulder by Monday. Crews will begin working 16-hour shifts after the safety and onboarding process is complete and will continue to take the necessary steps to protect the safety and well-being of customers, employees, contractors and communities.

The company will also continue to monitor local weather conditions and assess customer needs given the severe weather impacting northern Louisiana.

CenterPoint Energy has been a volunteer member of Southern Gas Association, American Gas Association, Northwest Gas Association and Midwest Energy Association natural gas mutual assistance networks for approximately 10 years, to lend a helping hand during natural gas emergencies. Coming to the aid of other utilities is nothing new to CenterPoint Energy employees. Over the years, CenterPoint Energy crews have supported other utilities across the country many times by assisting in the restoration of natural gas service.

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

 

CenterPoint Energy natural gas crews depart for Colorado to support restoration efforts following wildfires

Houston – Jan. 2, 2022 – This morning, CenterPoint Energy deployed natural gas mutual assistance crews and support personnel from Houston to assist Xcel Energy with natural gas restoration efforts in Boulder, Colorado due to damages caused by recent wildfires impacting the area.  

"Our natural gas technicians are skilled to perform in any type of conditions, just like they do for our customers at home," said Tal Centers, Vice President, Texas Gas, at CenterPoint Energy. "We are fully committed to helping restore service to affected customers as safely and quickly as possible."

CenterPoint Energy mutual assistance crews are also departing from other parts of Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi and will arrive in Boulder by Monday. Crews will begin working 16-hour shifts after the safety and onboarding process is complete and will continue to take the necessary steps to protect the safety and well-being of customers, employees, contractors and communities.

The company will also continue to monitor local weather conditions and assess customer needs given the severe weather impacting Texas.

CenterPoint Energy has been a volunteer member of Southern Gas Association, American Gas Association, Northwest Gas Association and Midwest Energy Association natural gas mutual assistance networks for approximately 10 years, to lend a helping hand during natural gas emergencies. Coming to the aid of other utilities is nothing new to CenterPoint Energy employees. Over the years, CenterPoint Energy crews have supported other utilities across the country many times by assisting in the restoration of natural gas service.

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

 

CenterPoint Energy offers tips for customers to stay safe and warm in cold temperatures

Houston – Jan. 1, 2021 – In the coming days, the Greater Houston area will be experiencing cold temperatures. Safety is CenterPoint Energy's top core value. The company is preparing for the upcoming weather conditions and wants customers to be prepared as well. CenterPoint Energy encourages customers to have an emergency plan, particularly if they depend on electricity for life-sustaining equipment and natural gas or electricity to heat their homes.

The company is offering these tips to ensure safety and adequate heating in the coming days:

Electric:

High winds and ice could cause downed power lines in isolated areas. Always assume downed lines or wires are energized 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 is actively being shocked due to contact with a power line, do not try to rescue them – you can't help if you become a victim. Instead, call 911 immediately.
  • Report downed power lines to 713-207-2222 or 800-332-7143.
  • Never use an electricity generator inside your home or any other building.

Natural gas:

  • Make sure your heating system is working properly. Malfunctioning home heating equipment can cause a fire or carbon monoxide poisoning. Check that outside furnace vents aren't blocked by snow or ice. Keep your furnace filter clean for safe, efficient operation.
  • Use space heaters safely. Use a space heater with an automatic shut-off feature, 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.
  • Check your carbon monoxide (CO) and smoke alarms. These devices are essential to warn you of a fire or dangerous condition involving a furnace, water heater, fireplace or stove. Test your alarms monthly and change batteries as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • 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 713-659-2111 or 800-752-8036. Don't use electric switches/outlets, phones (including cell phones), drive or start a car inside or in close proximity to the location, or do anything that could cause a spark.

Energy Efficiency

Cold temperatures also mean increased energy usage. CenterPoint Energy recommends the following tips for more efficient heating:

Furnace: A furnace is the largest natural gas consuming appliance.

  • Set your thermostat no higher than 68 degrees. If possible, set it at 65 degrees when you are home and 60 degrees when you are away from home.
  • Lowering your thermostat can help you save on your annual heating costs. Installing a programmable thermostat can help you automatically control your heat usage. Add on extra layers of clothing to keep warm.
  • Change your air filters monthly. A dirty filter restricts airflow and can increase the operating cost of your furnace by as much as 10 percent. A good reminder is to change the filter each time you receive your natural gas bill.

Other appliances: Although they consume less natural gas, you can still maximize their efficiency.

  • Run your washing machine, dish washer and gas dryer only with full loads.

Make your home more airtight and keep cold air outside:

  • Seal leaks around doors, windows, and other openings such as pipes or ducts, with caulk or weather-stripping. The most common places where air escapes in homes are floors, walls, ceilings, ducts, fireplaces, plumbing penetrations, doors, windows, fans, vents and electrical outlets.
  • If it has been a while, consider adding more insulation in your attic.
  • On sunny days, open draperies and blinds to let the sun's warmth in. Close them at night to insulate against the cold air outside.

For the latest information on power outages: