CenterPoint Energy seeks recovery following completion of 7-year natural gas pipeline modernization plan
Utility files first base rate review in 14 years; Current natural gas commodity prices forecasted to remain stable; Significant methane emission reductions from Energy Efficiency savings and pipeline replacement
2020-10-30T05:00:00Z

Evansville, Ind. – Oct. 30, 2020 – CenterPoint Energy's Indiana-based electric and gas utility, Southern Indiana Gas and Electric Co. (SIGECO), has filed a request with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) for recovery of investments made within its southwestern Indiana natural gas service territory.

The filing comes at the completion of the company's 7-year, $240 million gas modernization plan, which was filed in 2013 to comply with federal pipeline safety rules and ensures the continued safe, reliable delivery of natural gas service to its more than 113,000 southwestern Indiana customers. The gas system improvements resulted in upgrades to portions of CenterPoint Energy's 3,200-mile network of distribution mains and transmission pipelines which serve nine counties in southwestern Indiana. The work primarily consisted of replacing bare steel and cast-iron distribution mains with new industry-grade plastic mains, as well as inspecting and upgrading natural gas transmission pipelines. This pipeline work has led to a 36% reduction in methane emissions since 2013. Since 2008, more than 300 miles of gas mains have been replaced in the company's southwestern Indiana territory.

Using 2013 state laws focused on federal mandates and natural gas infrastructure needs, Indiana utilities submit forward-looking capital investment plans to the IURC for review and cost recovery. The statutes provide utilities the ability for gradual investment recovery as modernization progress is made; otherwise defined as 80% of total capital expenditures and lessening the effect of a larger rate increase through traditional rate recovery. The balance of recovery must be sought through a traditional rate request at the end of the 7-year plan and is a requirement of the law. With the 2013 filing and the IURC's approval and regular review of that plan, the company is now seeking recovery of the remaining 20% of those investments.

"These infrastructure investments are vital to meeting federal mandates and ensuring the safe and reliable delivery of natural gas to our customers," said Richard Leger, Vice President of Natural Gas Distribution, Indiana and Ohio. "While our natural gas customers will experience a base rate increase to their bills, it will be the first time in nearly 14 years we have pursued such recovery. We remain focused on maintaining affordability for our customers, as demonstrated by our commitment to expense management and continuing to offer natural gas as a cost-effective, reliable energy option due to low, stable natural gas commodity prices."

If the IURC approves the request, the average residential southwestern Indiana gas customer could see an approximate increase of about $15 per month. This represents the balance of costs not already recovered through the duration of the previous seven years and recovery of additional investments before and outside of the company's modernization plan related to public and system improvements required since 2006.      

Also requested within this filing is the continuation of natural gas energy efficiency programs through 2025 and the income-eligible universal service program, which provides additional gas bill reductions during the months of December through May for eligible Indiana South customers.

"Since inception of the programs, Indiana South customers have saved approximately 37 million therms of natural gas, or enough energy to heat 46,000 homes for a year, which also contributed to more than 195,000 metric tons of CO2e emissions saved," continued Leger. "Energy efficiency programs are another way we strive to give customers the opportunity to reduce their energy usage and therefore lower their bill, while also lowering emissions."

While taking into consideration the expected bill impact for these gas infrastructure investments, bills should remain substantially lower than they were subsequent to the company's last rate case filing due to considerably lower natural gas commodity costs. Should the current recovery request be approved, total annual bills will be about $100 lower than they were in 2007-2008 when current rates were approved. As is the case with other gas utilities, Indiana South does not profit from the cost of natural gas. The utility's portfolio approach to gas purchases on behalf of customers is simply passed through dollar for dollar.

The filing now begins a comprehensive review by the IURC which will take several months to complete and will include a public hearing as part of the regulatory process. Should the plan be approved, new rates would go into effect during the third quarter of 2021. This filing has no impact on electric rates.

CenterPoint Energy's Indiana South gas territory delivers natural gas to more than 113,000 customers in Daviess, Gibson, Knox, Martin, Pike, Posey, Spencer, Vanderburgh and Warrick counties.

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 future regulatory filings, actions and decisions, including the timing and impact of such actions and decisions, the expected impact of the proposed rate adjustments on customer bills, forecasted natural gas commodity prices and any associated fluctuations, emissions reductions and any other statements that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements. Each forward-looking statement contained in this news release speaks only as of the date of this release. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by the provided forward-looking information include risks and uncertainties relating to: (1) the impact of COVID-19; (2) financial market conditions; (3) general economic conditions; (4) the timing and impact of future regulatory and legislative decisions; (5) effects of competition; (6) weather variations; (7) changes in business plans; and (8) other factors, risks and uncertainties discussed in CenterPoint Energy's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019, CenterPoint Energy's Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 2020 and June 30, 2020 and other reports CenterPoint Energy or its subsidiaries may file from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

 

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 awards grants to communities for safety initiatives

Houston – Aug. 9, 2022 – This year, CenterPoint Energy's Community Safety Grant program awarded approximately 130 grants totaling more than $260,000 in Indiana, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Ohio and Texas to fund safety-related equipment and projects in local communities.

"Safety is a core value of CenterPoint Energy's," said Alicia Dixon, Director of Community Relations for CenterPoint Energy. "Our Community Partnership Grant program allows us to stay connected to emergency officials, first responders and others in the communities we serve to support our customers' safety."

Recipients were determined based on the content of their applications. Participants were required to outline a safety-related problem, issue or need in the community and how a Community Safety Grant would help create a sustainable solution. Leveraging the chosen organization's local funds, the CenterPoint Energy grant is a matching contribution and cannot be more than 50% of the cost of the project. The program awards grants of up to $2,500.

Since 2003, through its Community Safety Grant program, CenterPoint Energy has funded more than 1,400 safety-related projects and contributed more than $2.7 million in donations to communities for safety initiatives.

To see what CenterPoint Energy is doing in the community, please visit CenterPointEnergy.com/Community.

CenterPoint Energy restores power to all customers affected by this week’s severe weather

Evansville – Aug. 5, 2022 – CenterPoint Energy has issued the following update in southwestern Indiana:

Following the severe weather on Monday evening and Tuesday morning, nearly 48,000 customers were left without electric service across the Evansville area. Approximately 48 hours after the storms, CenterPoint Energy restored power to 97% of affected customers, leaving only approximately 1,000 without service.

As of 10:00 p.m. on Thursday, all customers affected by the storms earlier this week have had their electric service restored. 

"We are proud of the hard work and efforts of our crews to safely and quickly restore power to the majority of customers within 48 hours of the storms," said Richard Leger, Senior Vice President, Indiana Electric. 

"The extensive damages caused by multiple lines of storms with lightning and winds that exceeded more than 50 miles per hour, and gusts of nearly 70 miles per hour over a 13-hour period presented many challenges for our crews."

Over the last four days, 60 crews performing tree trimming and service restoration worked around-the-clock on approximately 320 individual outages affecting nearly 48,000 customers. On Monday evening, customer outages peaked at 30,000. Over the course of the entire four-day severe weather event, outages affected a total of 48,000 customers. In the last 24 hours, repairs to the hardest-hit areas required more than 40 pole replacements to reconnect electric service. 

Leger added, "We understand the severity of the damage and unexpected extended outages were disruptive for many of our customers this week. We appreciate their patience and understanding. Additionally, we are thankful no injuries were reported as a result of one of the most significant storms to hit our region in six years."

CenterPoint Energy reminds customers these storms may have caused damage to customer-owned equipment, such as their meter box or weatherhead – the point where the line enters the home through a pipe. In those cases, customers will need to contact a qualified electrician to make sure the damage is repaired before the company can restore service to them. After repairs are made, customers can call 1(800) 227-1376 to request reconnection of service.


CenterPoint Energy provides restoration update

Evansville – Aug. 3, 2022 – CenterPoint Energy has issued the following update as restoration efforts continue in southwestern Indiana:

CenterPoint Energy and contract crews continue to make progress on restoring customers without electric service following severe weather on Monday evening and Tuesday morning. As crews have prioritized larger outages to restore as many customers as possible at a time, the remaining outages are tied to smaller groups of customers. Therefore, the number of customers restored will progress at a slower rate. Efforts continue to clear the significant amount of fallen trees, limbs and wires and begin repairs.

"Our crews have made significant progress throughout the day on the remaining outages; however, we have not seen a storm produce this level of damage in several years," said Richard Leger, Senior Vice President of Indiana Electric. "We have more than 60 crews performing tree trimming and restoration work on the remaining outages. We understand the frustrations of those customers who are still without power, and our around-the-clock efforts will continue until the last customer is restored as safely as possible."

CenterPoint Energy is in the process of reaching out directly to customers who remain without power to communicate additional information and provide a timeframe on when they can anticipate service to be restored. Based on the current assessment of remaining restoration work, the company expects outages for some customers will last until Friday, Aug. 5.

For latest information on power outages:


CenterPoint Energy reports strong second quarter results and raises full year earnings guidance

Houston – August 2, 2022 - CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (NYSE: CNP) or "CenterPoint" today reported income available to common shareholders of $179 million, or $0.28 per diluted share on a GAAP basis, for the second quarter of 2022 compared to $0.37 of diluted earnings per share, including $0.09 of midstream for the second quarter of 2021.

  • Reported Q2 2022 earnings of $0.28 and $0.31 per diluted share on a GAAP and non-GAAP basis, respectively
  • Full year 2022 non-GAAP EPS guidance increased to $1.37-$1.39, representing an increase of 9% at the midpoint compared to full year 2021 
  • From this higher $1.37-$1.39 guidance, CNP is reaffirming industry leading non-GAAP EPS growth of 8% annually for 2023 and 2024 and mid to high-end of the 6-8% annually range from 2025 through 2030 
  • Capital spending on track for year with ~$2 billion invested as of the end of Q2 for the benefit of customers
  • Continued 30-year trend of at least 2% average annual customer growth in Houston area supporting customer affordability 

On a non-GAAP basis, EPS for the second quarter was $0.31, an 11% increase to the comparable quarter in 2021. The positive variance was primarily driven by favorable weather, usage and continued organic growth across the Houston Electric service territory, which represented an increase of approximately $0.03 per share over second quarter of 2021.   

"The full year 2022 guidance raise is driven by the increased confidence around our business performance, primarily driven by the performance of our Houston Electric business. This is the fifth time we have increased our guidance under this management team.  We are now on track to meet $1.37-$1.39 non-GAAP EPS guidance for the full year 2022, a 9% increase over 2021, setting a new and higher baseline for future earnings growth," said Dave Lesar, President and Chief Executive Officer of CenterPoint.  

"We are in year two of our ten-year, $40 billion-plus capital plan and have invested nearly 50% of our 2022 investment plan as of the second quarter. We expect to be in a position to update our investment plan on our third quarter earnings call, focused on incremental customer driven capital opportunities to continue our investment in the resiliency, safety, and growth across our system.  We are committed to executing this plan with a continued focus on customer affordability."  continued Lesar.

Lesar added.  "We remain steadfast on delivering on our premium value proposition quarter after quarter, underpinned by our pure play regulated utility model, to the benefit of our customers, investors and other stakeholders."

Earnings Outlook

Given the merger between Enable and Energy Transfer and CenterPoint's divestiture of its remaining midstream investments during 2022, CenterPoint will be presenting a consolidated non-GAAP EPS guidance range for 2022, which is the comparable measure to non-GAAP Utility EPS reported in 2021.

In addition to presenting its financial results in accordance with GAAP, including presentation of income (loss) available to common shareholders and diluted earnings (loss) per share, CenterPoint provides guidance based on non-GAAP income and non-GAAP diluted earnings per share. 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.

Management evaluates CenterPoint's financial performance in part based on non-GAAP income and non-GAAP earnings per share. Management believes that presenting these non-GAAP financial measures enhances an investor's understanding of CenterPoint'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's non-GAAP income and non-GAAP diluted earnings per share 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.

2021 non-GAAP Utility EPS

"Utility EPS" (a non-GAAP financial measure) included net income from the company's Electric and Natural Gas segments, as well as after-tax Corporate and Other operating income and an allocation of corporate overhead based upon Electric's and Natural Gas's relative earnings contribution. Corporate overhead consisted primarily of interest expense, preferred stock dividend requirements, and other items directly attributable to the parent along with the associated income taxes.

  • 2021 Utility EPS excluded:
    • Earnings or losses from the change in value of the CenterPoint 2.0% Zero-Premium Exchangeable Subordinated Notes due 2029 ("ZENS") and related securities
    • Earnings and losses associated with the ownership and disposal of midstream common and preferred units (including amounts reported in discontinued operations), net gain associated with the consummation of the merger between Enable Midstream Partners, LP and Energy Transfer LP, a corresponding amount of debt related to midstream common and preferred units, and an allocation of associated corporate overhead
    • Cost associated with the early extinguishment of debt
    • Impacts associated with Arkansas and Oklahoma gas LDC sales
    • Certain impacts associated with other mergers and divestitures

2022 non-GAAP EPS guidance range

Beginning in 2022, CenterPoint no longer separates utility and midstream operations and will report on a consolidated non-GAAP EPS basis.

  • 2022 non-GAAP EPS guidance excludes:
    • Earnings or losses from the change in value of ZENS and related securities
    • Gain and impact, including related expenses, associated with mergers and divestitures, primarily the Arkansas and Oklahoma gas LDC sales
    • Income and expense related to ownership and disposal of Energy Transfer common and Series G preferred units, and a corresponding amount of debt related to the units

In providing 2022 non-GAAP EPS guidance, CenterPoint does not consider the items noted above and other potential impacts such as changes in accounting standards, impairments, or other unusual items, which could have a material impact on GAAP reported results for the applicable guidance period. The 2022 non-GAAP EPS guidance range also considers assumptions for certain significant variables that may impact earnings, such as customer growth and usage including normal weather, throughput, recovery of capital invested, effective tax rates, financing activities and related interest rates, and regulatory and judicial proceedings. To the extent actual results deviate from these assumptions, the 2022 non-GAAP EPS guidance range may not be met, or the projected annual non-GAAP EPS growth rate may change. CenterPoint is unable to present a quantitative reconciliation of forward-looking non-GAAP diluted earnings per share because changes in the value of ZENS and related securities, future impairments, and other unusual items are not estimable and are difficult to predict due to various factors outside of management's control.

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 June 30, 2022. 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's management will host an earnings conference call on August 2, 2022, at 7:00 a.m. Central time / 8:00 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.

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 serve more than 7 million metered customers in Indiana, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Ohio and Texas. As of June 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.

Forward-looking Statements

This news release includes, and the earnings conference call will include 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. Examples of forward-looking statements in this news release or on the earnings conference call include statements regarding capital investments (including with respect to expected updates to our 10-year capital plan, renewables projects, mobile generation spend and the City of Houston's Master Energy Plan and Resilient Now), the impacts of the February 2021 winter storm event on our business and service territories, the recovery and timing of recovery of associated gas costs and related litigation, future earnings and guidance, including long-term growth rate, operations and maintenance expense reductions, financing plans (including the timing of any future equity issuances, securitization, credit metrics and parent level debt), the impact of disruptions to the global supply chain on our business, including our generation transition plan, ZENS and impacts of the maturity of ZENS, tax planning opportunities (such as any potential use of the repairs expense deduction), future financial performance and results of operations, including with respect to regulatory actions and recoverability of capital investments, customer rate affordability, value creation, opportunities and expectations, ESG strategy, including transition to Net Zero, and any other statements that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements. Each forward-looking statement contained in this news release or discussed on the earnings conference call speaks only as of the date of this release or the earnings conference call.

Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by the provided forward-looking information include, but are not limited to, risks and uncertainties relating to: (1) CenterPoint's business strategies and strategic initiatives, restructurings, joint ventures and acquisitions or dispositions of assets or businesses, including the completed sale of our Natural Gas businesses in Arkansas and Oklahoma, the exit from midstream and the internal restructuring of certain subsidiaries, which we cannot assure you will have the anticipated benefits to us; (2) industrial, commercial and residential growth in CenterPoint's service territories and changes in market demand; (3) CenterPoint's ability to fund and invest planned capital, and the timely recovery of its investments; (4) financial market and general economic conditions, including access to debt and equity capital and the effect on sales, prices and costs; (5) continued disruptions to the global supply chain and increases in commodity prices; (6) actions by credit rating agencies, including any potential downgrades to credit ratings; (7) the timing and impact of regulatory proceedings and actions and legal proceedings, including those related to Houston Electric's mobile generation and the February 2021 winter storm event; (8) legislative decisions, including tax and developments related to the environment such as global climate change, air emissions, carbon, waste water discharges and the handling of coal combustion residuals, among others, and CenterPoint's Net Zero and carbon emissions reduction goals; (9) the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic; (10) the recording of impairment charges; (11) weather variations and CenterPoint's ability to mitigate weather impacts, including impacts from the February 2021 winter storm event; (12) changes in business plans; (13) CenterPoint's ability to execute on its initiatives, targets and goals, including its Net Zero and carbon emissions reduction goals and operations and maintenance goals; and (14) other factors discussed CenterPoint's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021 and CenterPoint's Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 2022 and June 30, 2022, including in the "Risk Factors" and "Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Information" sections of such reports, and other reports CenterPoint or its subsidiaries may file from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

 


CenterPoint Energy makes significant progress on outage restoration

Evansville – Aug. 2, 2022 – CenterPoint Energy has issued the following update as restoration efforts continue in southwestern Indiana:

CenterPoint Energy and contract crews have made significant progress restoring 60% of the 30,000 customers left without power after Monday evening and Tuesday morning storms.

As of 6:00 p.m., there are 370 outages with less than 12,000 total estimated electric customers without power. Currently, more than 45 restoration and 12 tree-trimming crews are working those outages.

"Our crews have been working around-the-clock and through challenging conditions to restore power as safely and quickly as possible. Severe vegetation damage through our service territory has made it difficult for our crews to remove debris, address energized and downed lines to make necessary repairs, and restore service," said Richard Leger, Senior Vice President of Indiana Electric. "Since 7 a.m. this morning, nearly 800 work orders have been called in and completed."

Leger added, "We have secured additional contract crews to assist in restoration efforts and anticipate making significant additional progress through the night."

CenterPoint Energy is in the process of reaching out directly to customers by phone who are experiencing extended outages to discuss the steps the company is taking to restore their service. As always, CenterPoint Energy encourages all our customers to prepare now and have a back-up plan in place in the event they should experience an unexpected extended outage.

The restoration process begins with facilities vital to safety, health and welfare, such as hospitals, water treatment plants and public service facilities. After key facilities, the company follows its priority restoration process by making repairs to electrical facilities that will return power to the largest number of customers first, then continue the restoration process by prioritizing repairs to benefit the greatest number of customers until power is returned to everyone.

CenterPoint Energy reminds customers if they have experienced damage to the weatherhead – the point of entry from the service drop to the home – a licensed electrician will need to make necessary repairs before power can be restored.

CenterPoint Energy also reminds all customers to:

  • Stay away from downed power lines. Be especially mindful of downed lines that could be hidden and treat all downed lines as if they are energized.   
  • Be cautious around work crews and give them distance to assess damages and make repairs.
  • If you smell gas, get to a safe area and call both 911 and CenterPoint Energy at (800) 227-1376.
  • Don't open freezers and refrigerators any more than absolutely necessary. Opening these appliances will allow food to thaw more quickly.
  • Consider checking with others who may benefit from your assistance.
  • Report any downed lines or damage to 800-227-1376.

For latest information on power outages: