Update: Statewide power generation emergency expected to extend outages for CenterPoint Energy customers
2021-02-16T06:00:00Z

Houston – Feb. 16, 2021 – The Texas electric system continues to face an unprecedented power shortage due to extreme winter weather. Because the state's current power generation has fallen short of demand, significant electricity outages have resulted across Texas and are lasting longer than previously planned. CenterPoint Energy is required to comply with ERCOT's directive to suspend electric service to a portion of its customers. The company does not generate electricity itself, so the current shortage of power capacity from the grid is not something that CenterPoint Energy directly controls.

Due to the continued issues with power generators' ability to produce electricity, CenterPoint Energy's customers need to be prepared to be without power, potentially for the duration of the generation shortage event, which could last several more days.  

CenterPoint Energy continues to navigate this historic weather event to provide for the stabilization of its electric delivery system and the reliability of its natural gas infrastructure. The company's transmission and distribution systems handled the severe weather well, and CenterPoint Energy is prepared to serve its customers when generating capacity from third-party generators is available.

As an electric transmission and delivery company serving the Greater Houston area, CenterPoint Energy depends on electricity that is provided by third-party electricity generators and received through the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which is responsible for managing and scheduling power on the electric grid in Texas.

"We are ready to restore power as soon as it is available to be delivered; however, there is not enough electricity from third-party generators," said Dave Lesar, President and CEO, CenterPoint Energy. "CenterPoint Energy continues to communicate with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas and other stakeholders on the power shortage, but we have no control over the generators' ability to provide power, nor are we able to predict when they will resume their generation. As soon as power is delivered to us, we will be ready to begin to deliver that power to our customers."

CenterPoint Energy understands the significant challenges facing customers who have lost power and appreciates their patience as the company continues to follow ERCOT's directive to implement controlled outages to help reach a balance between power supply and demand in the state.

CenterPoint Energy's Executive Vice President, Electric Utility, Kenny Mercado added, "Given uncertain timing and the ongoing public safety risks due to the severe weather conditions in Houston and surrounding areas, CenterPoint Energy advises all of its electric customers to be prepared to be without power, potentially for the duration of the generation shortage event, which could last several more days. We encourage all our customers to take precautions for their personal safety."

CenterPoint Energy will continue to update customers through local media outlets, its website (centerpointenergy.com) and its social media channels, Twitter (@CNPalerts) and Facebook.

CenterPoint Energy is providing this update as of Tuesday morning:

Electric Operations

  • As of 2:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 16 the estimated number of Houston area customers without power is 1.27 million.
     
  • Overnight, CenterPoint Energy was able to restart the process of rotating outages. Unfortunately, this process had to be halted due to another ERCOT order to reduce electric delivery, as seven third-party electricity generators in CenterPoint Energy's region went offline.
  • CenterPoint Energy crews conducted an assessment of the Houston Electric transmission system on Monday and determined that there is no damage.
     
  • CenterPoint Energy is continuously evaluating its system and performing any needed repairs to be ready to restore service to customers as soon as additional power is available from the grid.
  • If additional generating capacity goes offline, it would negatively impact the electric system, resulting in additional customer outages.
     
  • To assist with this situation and limit outages, customers who do have power are asked to reduce their electricity use to the lowest level possible.

Electric Safety

  • CenterPoint Energy takes the safety and security concerns of its customers very seriously. Unfortunately, from time to time, people attempt to impersonate utility company employees in order to gain access to someone's home.
  • All CenterPoint Energy employees and contractors carry identification badges. If the badges are not visible, they will show them upon request.
  • Customers should know the following:
    • All CenterPoint Energy vehicles are marked with the CenterPoint Energy logo.  
    • All vehicles being used by CenterPoint Energy contractors are marked with the CenterPoint Energy logo.
    • All CenterPoint Energy employees and contractors carry identification badges. If the badges are not visible, they will show them upon request.
    • If a customer has any doubts whether someone is a CenterPoint Energy employee, they should ask to see their ID badge.
    • If there is a still doubt or any other issue, even after seeing an ID badge, customers should call local law enforcement.
    • In most cases, it is NOT necessary for CenterPoint Energy employees to enter a customer's home or apartment, since most work is done outside on power and natural gas lines. However, when restoring natural gas service, it IS necessary for CenterPoint Energy's natural gas employees to enter a home or business to relight pilots and ensure that it is safe to resume natural gas service.

Natural Gas Operations    
  • CenterPoint Energy teams are in ongoing communications with upstream natural gas suppliers to coordinate and maintain reliability across the company's eight-state service territory.
  • When and where required, CenterPoint Energy has deployed additional staff to respond to system and customer needs.
  • During this extreme weather event, the company has delivered a record volume of natural gas to its customers.
  • To prevent service interruptions, the company Mobile Energy Solutions business currently has 19 temporary gas installations deployed in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas, with additional equipment as needed.
  • In response to high heating demand as a result of the extremely cold temperatures, CenterPoint customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas are asked to temporarily lower their thermostat settings to help conserve natural gas.

Natural Gas Safety Tips

  • 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, 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.
  • Keep generators positioned outside and at least 15 feet away from open windows so exhaust does not enter your home/business or a neighboring home/business.
  • Check your carbon monoxide (CO) and smoke alarms. These devices are essential to warn you of a fire or dangerous malfunction with a furnace, water heater, fireplace or stove. Test your alarms monthly and change batteries every year.
  • Immediately report a suspected 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. Don't use electric switches, phones (including cell phones), drive or start a car, or do anything that could cause a spark.

 

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CenterPoint Energy electric systems operating normally

Houston – April 14, 2021 – CenterPoint Energy continues to closely monitor the activity of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which is responsible for scheduling electrical power and ensuring the reliability and adequacy of the electrical network in the ERCOT region of Texas, following its April 13 conservation alert.

According to ERCOT, customer demand for electricity came close to the amount of power generation available yesterday afternoon. As a result, ERCOT issued a conservation alert yesterday at approximately 4:30 p.m. CT.  CenterPoint Energy does not generate electricity itself, so any shortage of electrical power capacity from the grid is not something that the company controls.

"We want to thank our customers across our service territory for responding to ERCOT's request for conservation," said Kenny Mercado, CenterPoint Energy's Executive Vice President, Electric Utility. "When power generation drops, conservation is critical to protect the reliability of the electric system and preventing an uncontrolled system-wide outage."

ERCOT is the independent system operator for the region and manages the flow of electric power to most of Texas and more than 26 million Texas customers. CenterPoint Energy is an investor-owned electric utility and a member of ERCOT. The company manages the distribution and transmission of electricity to its approximately 2.6 million customers across the greater Houston area and surrounding communities.

As required, CenterPoint Energy will continue to follow ERCOT's directives as the state faces high power demand and power plants being voluntarily shut down for maintenance issues.

"Our systems are operating normally. We will continue to monitor the electric grid and changing weather conditions and are ready to respond to ERCOT's directives," added Mercado.

If generation capacity issues worsen, CenterPoint Energy will keep customers updated through local media outlets and the company's customer communication channels, including Twitter (@CNPalerts), Facebook, Power Alert Service, Outage Tracker (Estimated Restoration Times will not be available for these types of emergencies) and the web.

The company also said that the greater Houston area and surrounding communities could experience an increased chance of thunderstorms today. Should severe weather impact CenterPoint Energy's service to customers, the company is committed to restoring electricity as safely and quickly as possible. For information on individual outages, sign up for Power Alert Service or visit Outage Tracker for general outage locations.

CenterPoint Energy offers energy-saving deals to celebrate Earth Day, April 22

BYRAM, Miss. – April 12, 2021 – On April 22 people around the world will celebrate Earth Day, an annual event to show support for protecting the natural environment. In Mississippi, CenterPoint Energy is honoring Earth Day with a special offer to help its customers save energy and reduce their carbon footprint.

Home energy use accounts for roughly 20% of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. One effective way people can help the environment is by saving energy in their homes, which can also mean saving money on their utility bills.

As a natural gas utility serving about 133,000 customers in Mississippi, CenterPoint Energy is committed to helping its customers improve their energy efficiency.

Low-flow showerheads, faucet aerators and smart thermostats

During April, in honor of Earth Day 2021, CenterPoint Energy customers can request free low-flow showerheads, faucet aerators and hot water temperature gauge cards.

With easy-to-install low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators, you can reduce your hot water use without sacrificing comfort. Just one low-flow showerhead and one faucet aerator can reduce the average family's hot water use by more than 3,100 gallons in a single year, equal to about 86 tubs of water or 25 full days of hot water use. 

A hot water temperature gauge card can help you determine if your water heater is set at a temperature higher than needed. If the temperature is higher than 120 degrees, your water heater should be set lower.

CenterPoint Energy is also offering its Mississippi customers a special Earth Day rebate on the purchase of a qualifying smart thermostat. Prices vary depending on the specific thermostat model, but customers will receive an instant $75 rebate with up to an additional $30 off as part of the Earth Day special.

With a smart thermostat, you can "set it and forget it" by programming temperature settings based on your habits and when you are normally home. In the winter, if you set the thermostat back by 7-10 degrees at night or when away for at least eight hours, you can potentially save 10% on your heating costs.

As an extra Earth Day benefit, CenterPoint Energy is offering a free packet of pollinator flower seeds that will be shipped, while supplies last, with an order made through the CenterPoint Energy website.

To place your order, just go to CenterPointEnergy.com/EarthDay2021.

A customer may order up to three showerheads, three aerators, one water temperature gauge card and one thermostat. To qualify for showerheads and faucet aerators, you must have a natural gas water heater. To qualify for a thermostat rebate, natural gas must be your primary heat source.

Paperless billing

For Earth Day, CenterPoint Energy is also encouraging customers to enroll in the paperless billing option. If you register for paperless billing during April 12-30, you will also receive a free pollinator flower seed packet, while supplies last.

Thanks to customers who chose paperless billing in 2020, CenterPoint Energy saved about 271 tons of paper – equal to an estimated 5,976 trees and 249 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

To sign up for paperless billing, just go to CenterPointEnergy.com/paperless.

For more energy efficiency tips, visit CenterPointEnergy.com/saveenergy.

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 December 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 9,500 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 150 years. For more information, visit CenterPointEnergy.com.

CenterPoint Energy encourages safety awareness during National Safe Digging Month

Houston – April 1, 2021 As part of its ongoing safety awareness practices for safe digging, CenterPoint Energy is partnering with the Common Ground Alliance to commemorate April as National Safe Digging Month and encourage customers to follow safe digging practices.

Safe digging practices are required by state laws and help prevent damage to underground utilities like natural gas, electric and water. Striking a single line can result in injury, repair costs, fines and service interruptions. Anyone planning a project, such as installing a mailbox, building a deck, planting a tree and laying a patio, that requires digging should contact 811.

"Last year, we saw more than 8,500 damages to underground lines in our eight-state territory," said Ashley Babcock, Director of Damage Prevention and Public Awareness for CenterPoint Energy. "By contacting 811 to have the underground utility lines in their area marked, homeowners and professionals are abiding by an important law put in place to help keep them and their communities safe." 

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. Utility line locate companies are no exception and are properly equipped with personal protective equipment while performing work. If you see CenterPoint Energy crews or CenterPoint Energy contractors performing work, please avoid approaching them and continue to practice social distancing.

In the event a gas line is struck or ruptured outside of a home or business, customers are reminded of the following:

  • Leave the area of the gas leak immediately, as well as areas where the odor of gas is noticeable.  
  • Do not attempt to re-start or move powered equipment. 
  • Call CenterPoint Energy to report the leak. The party responsible for the damage to the gas line should also call 911 and report the incident to police and/or fire officials and the state's 811 center.
  • Remain in a safe area until emergency personnel arrive and do not enter the home/business or neighboring premises.

Visit Call811.com for more information about 811 and the call-before-you-dig process. For more information on natural gas safety, visit CenterPointEnergy.com.

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 December 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 9,500 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 150 years. For more information, visit CenterPointEnergy.com.

 

CenterPoint Energy named to Newsweek's Most Responsible Companies List for 2021

HOUSTON, April 1, 2021 - CenterPoint Energy has been recognized as one of the most responsible companies in the United States by Newsweek. For the second time, Newsweek recognized America's Most Responsible Companies based on publicly available key performance indicators derived from corporate social responsibility, sustainability and corporate citizenship reports, as well as an independent survey.

"CenterPoint Energy is focused on delivering responsibility through our commitment to leadership, sustainability, safety, diversity and inclusion in all the communities we serve," said Angila Retherford, CenterPoint Energy's Vice President, Environmental and Corporate Responsibility. "We are honored to be named one of the most responsible companies in the country, as we continue to strive to build strong communities, safely deliver reliable electricity and natural gas, and invest in a clean energy future."

The list from Newsweek and its partner Statist recognizes the top 400 most responsible companies in the United States, spanning 14 industries: Automotive & Components, Capital Goods, Consumer Goods, Energy & Utilities, Entertainment, Leisure & Dining, Financial, Health Care & Life Sciences, Materials, Professional Services, Real Estate & Housing, Retail, Software & Telecommunications, Technology Hardware and Travel, Transport & Logistics.

"Last year, we announced a goal to reduce 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. Our reduction goals are based on 2005 emissions. With more than 7 million electric and natural gas metered customers across eight states, we were among the first energy delivery companies to make an emissions-reduction commitment across a multi-state footprint," added Retherford.

Visit CenterPoint Energy's Corporate Responsibility page at www.centerpointenergy.com/responsibility to learn more about the company's commitments to environmental stewardship and a cleaner energy future.

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 December 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 9,500 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 150 years. For more information, visit CenterPointEnergy.com.

Forward Looking Statement
This news release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. 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 the CenterPoint Energy's carbon emissions reduction targets and commitments, 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.

For more information, contact
Media Relations
Media.Relations@CenterPointEnergy.com

SOURCE CenterPoint Energy, Inc.

CenterPoint Energy collaborates with HomeServe and Rebuilding Together to provide goodwill repairs

Houston – March 25, 2021 – CenterPoint Energy today announced the completion of several goodwill repair projects that were performed in collaboration with HomeServe, a nationwide provider of emergency home repair protection programs, and Rebuilding Together, a charitable, non-profit organization helping revitalize neighborhoods. These organizations worked together to identify opportunities to serve the Houston community by completing repairs that help provide safe utility services to their homes.

This video highlights the in-kind repairs that two Houston homeowners, Mary and Charlie, received through this project.

"We are committed to our customers and giving back to the community, which is one of the reasons we selected HomeServe to offer emergency home repair solutions to our natural gas customers," said Rick Plummer, Director of Home Services South for CenterPoint Energy. "HomeServe supports the local economy through their selection of minority-owned local contractors to perform repairs, which is also a critical factor in CenterPoint Energy's vendor selection process."

Joe Carbajal of Texas Quality Plumbing in Houston, a local HomeServe contractor said, "HomeServe's collaboration with CenterPoint Energy helps us with a lot of business and helps the community too. Thanks to HomeServe, we're growing and excited to see what's next. We like to take on the challenges of the next job and next obstacle."

CenterPoint Energy continues to work with HomeServe to offer plans to its natural gas residential customers in the southern service territory. Since 2018, the plans have helped customers save more than $13 million dollars in unexpected home repair costs.

About Rebuilding Together Houston
Rebuilding Together Houston is a recognized leader in single-family, affordable housing repair and a key partner in community revitalization, impacting the lives of hundreds of local families each year. In over 38 years of service, the organization has reinvested more than $120 million of value in affordable housing throughout Harris County, Texas. Together, with our volunteers, licensed contractors, corporate supporters, and community partners, we repair homes, revitalize communities, and rebuild lives. We strive toward the goal of safe homes and communities for everyone. For more information about Rebuilding Together Houston visit rebuildinghouston.org or @RebuildingTogetherHouston on Facebook and Instagram; @RebuildingHou on Twitter.

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 December 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 9,500 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 150 years. For more information, visit CenterPointEnergy.com.