CenterPoint Energy suspending disconnections for Indiana customers
2022-03-15T05:00:00Z

Evansville – March 15, 2022 – In an effort to help customers needing payment assistance, CenterPoint Energy is voluntarily suspending disconnections for its Indiana residential customers through May 31, 2022. Customers will continue to receive disconnect bills during this temporary suspension period, but their service will not be disconnected.

"We recognize there are many factors contributing to increased natural gas bills this winter heating season, including higher natural gas prices and a new rate structure – the first base rate increase since 2007 – that makes the customer's bill more dependent on the amount of natural gas used when compared to the prior rate structure," said Ashley Babcock, Vice President, Indiana and Ohio Natural Gas. "CenterPoint Energy is committed to providing our customers with the safe, reliable service they expect in the most cost-effective manner possible."

CenterPoint Energy is working on additional measures to assist customers and enhance the overall customer experience. Call center staff have been working extra hours to address the increased volume of customer inquiries as the company continues the hiring and training of additional agents. Customers can utilize CenterPoint Energy's self-service options at www.centerpointenergy.com to handle common transactions quickly and efficiently.

Customers are also encouraged to contact the local Indiana Community Action Agency, which administers the Indiana Energy Assistance Program (EAP) for income-eligible customers and can provide intake information about the application process and program requirements. EAP is available to Indiana customers with CenterPoint Energy natural gas and/or electric service. For Indiana natural gas customers, the Universal Service Program (USP) provides a monthly discount on residential gas charges during the heating season. To qualify for EAP and USP, annual household income cannot exceed 60% of the State Median Income poverty guidelines.

If additional payment assistance is needed, customers should contact CenterPoint Energy at 1-800-227-1376 to discuss options.

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CenterPoint Energy urges customers to be on alert for utility service disconnection scams

Houston – June 29, 2022 – CenterPoint Energy is alerting customers of reported increases in door-to-door, phone call and text message scams. Reports of individuals impersonating CenterPoint Energy have employed various tactics, including requests to check electric meters at customers' homes and spoofing company phone numbers to threaten service disconnection.

CenterPoint Energy will never call a customer and demand payment over the phone to avoid immediate disconnection. The company would never ask customers to make payments with a pre-paid debit card, gift card, any form of cryptocurrency, or third-party digital payment mobile applications. Furthermore, all CenterPoint Energy technicians and contractors will have a company badge to display when performing work.

"We encourage customers to remain on high alert as we continue to see utility scams on the rise across our service territories," said Tal Centers, Vice President, Texas Gas. "Any customer who is approached with what they believe to be a scam should report the incident to CenterPoint Energy through our online Customer Service form."

CenterPoint Energy continues to identify opportunities, such as working with its phone vendors, to mitigate the risk of scam calls to its customers. While scammers can spoof CenterPoint Energy's phone numbers, if the company's name is not displayed on the caller ID when receiving a call to a mobile device, it can be considered a scam call and the customer should hang up immediately.

If a customer needs to verify their account status, they may call customer service at the number listed on their bill or log in to their account on our website. Customers should not send money in any form until their account status has been verified with Customer Service. 

Depending on the particular scam, customers who believe they have been a victim can also take the following steps to report:

Key step in CenterPoint Energy’s long-term electric generation transition plan receives approval

Evansville, Ind.June 28, 2022– CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (NYSE: CNP) today announced its Indiana-based electric utility business, CenterPoint Energy Indiana South, received approval for the construction of natural gas generation from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC), a key step in the company's long-term electric generation transition plan. CenterPoint Energy intends to construct two natural gas combustion turbines (CTs) to replace portions of its existing coal-fired generation fleet. The company's generation transition plan will significantly evolve the way the company generates power for its 150,000 customers across southwestern Indiana by combining a cleaner portfolio of renewables and complementary natural gas.

The estimated $334 million natural gas facility will provide an output of 460 megawatts (MW), sized appropriately to reliably support the anticipated electric generation needed upon the retirement of A.B. Brown units 1 and 2 in late 2023. The CTs will be constructed at the current site of the power plant in Posey County, Ind., and will assist CenterPoint Energy in delivering on its commitment to provide a cost-effective, well-balanced energy mix.

The company's 2020 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) illustrated a preferred portfolio including nearly two-thirds of energy generated from renewable resources as well as natural gas generation, which is projected to ultimately save electric customers an estimated $320 million over the 20-year planning period. Through the IRP process, CenterPoint Energy performed significant analysis and considered public input to arrive at the most reliable and cost-effective solution for customers.

"Although the majority of the proposed generation outlined in our plan comes from renewable resources, there remains a need for reliable, resilient and fast-ramping generation to operate around-the-clock when the sun and wind are insufficient to power the renewable resources," said Steve Greenley, Senior Vice President, Generation Development. "While the combustion turbines may not run constantly, it is very likely they will operate several hours each day in order to supplement our renewable generation with a lower carbon solution, when renewable facilities are not at peak generating levels."

In addition, the company recently filed for securitization of its A.B. Brown assets, which was contingent on the IURC approval of the natural gas CTs and may result in up to $60 million in additional savings to customers over the same time period.

"Today's approval will have no immediate impact on customer electric bills," added Greenley. "The recovery of the investments associated with the CTs will be requested through a future electric rate case. When combining the savings to be realized through securitization and other bill reductions associated with the added renewable investments, the average residential customer is estimated to see a bill impact of less than $10 per month for the total generation transition."

The replacement of most of the company's coal-fired generation will help mitigate costs associated with compliance of ever-evolving environmental regulations and the higher operating costs of continuing to run the aging units. By replacing much of the coal-fired generation with significantly more efficient technologies like renewables, including a large percentage of universal solar, the replacement will move CenterPoint Energy significantly forward on achieving its goal of net zero on direct carbon emissions by 2035.

For more information on CenterPoint Energy's long-term electric generation transition plan, visit www.centerpointenergy.com/smartenergyfuture.

CenterPoint Energy delivers electricity to approximately 150,000 customers in southwest Indiana in all or portions of Gibson, Dubois, Pike, Posey, Spencer, Vanderburgh and Warrick counties. Programs and services are operated under the brand CenterPoint Energy by Southern Indiana Gas and Electric Company d/b/a CenterPoint Energy Indiana South.

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, including anticipated timing, savings and impact to customer bills as a result of the generation transition plan, including the CT facilities, the timing of CenterPoint Energy's generation transition plan, including the anticipated retirement of the A.B. Brown facility and the construction and completion of the CT facilities and the anticipated capacity of such facilities, and the mix of renewable resources and expected financial benefits of such generation transition to customers, 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 Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2022 and other reports CenterPoint Energy or its subsidiaries may file from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Net Zero Disclaimer: While CenterPoint Energy believes that it has a clear path towards achieving its net zero emissions (Scope 1 and Scope 2) by 2035 goals, its analysis and path forward required it to make a number of assumptions. These goals and underlying assumptions involve risks and uncertainties and are not guarantees. Should one or more of CenterPoint Energy's underlying assumptions prove incorrect, its actual results and ability to achieve net zero emissions by 2035 could differ materially from its expectations. Certain of the assumptions that could impact its ability to meet its net zero emissions goals include, but are not limited to: emission levels, service territory size and capacity needs remaining in line with company expectations (inclusive of changes related to the sale of CenterPoint Energy's Natural Gas businesses in Arkansas and Oklahoma); regulatory approval of Indiana Electric's generation transition plan; impacts of future environmental regulations or legislation; impacts of future carbon pricing regulation or legislation, including a future carbon tax; price, availability and regulation of carbon offsets; price of fuel, such as natural gas; cost of energy generation technologies, such as wind and solar, natural gas and storage solutions; adoption of alternative energy by the public, including adoption of electric vehicles; rate of technology innovation with regards to alternative energy resources; CenterPoint Energy's ability to implement its modernization plans for its pipelines and facilities; the ability to complete and implement generation alternatives to Indiana Electric's coal generation and retirement dates of Indiana Electric's coal facilities by 2035; the ability to construct and/or permit new natural gas pipelines; the ability to procure resources needed to build at a reasonable cost, the lack of or scarcity of resources and labor, the lack of any project cancellations, construction delays or overruns and the ability to appropriately estimate costs of new generation; impact of any supply chain disruptions; changes in applicable standards or methodologies; and enhancement of energy efficiencies. In addition, because Texas is in an unregulated market, CenterPoint Energy's Scope 2 estimates do not take into account Texas electric transmission and distribution assets in the line loss calculation and exclude emissions related to purchased power between 2024E-2026E. CenterPoint Energy's Scope 3 estimates are based on the total natural gas supply delivered to residential and commercial customers as reported in the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) Form EIA-176 reports and do not take into account the emissions of transport customers and emissions related to upstream extraction. Please also review 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 Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 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 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 March 31, 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.

 

CenterPoint Energy assessing damage, performing repairs and restoring service following severe storms

Evansville – June 17, 2022 – In response to the severe weather's impact on its electric system in southwestern Indiana, CenterPoint Energy has issued the following update:

During this storm, outages peaked with nearly 20,000 customers without power, with widespread damage to the system resulting from high winds and lightning. CenterPoint Energy and contract crews are continuing to assess and repair damaged equipment and downed wires.

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.

As of 2:30 p.m., there are 203 outages with 5,440 total estimated electric customers remaining without power. Of those 203 outages, 8 outages remain for 100 customers or greater. Those 8 outages currently have crews working on restoration.

"We are committed to restoring service to our customers as safely and quickly as possible. We ask for patience as some areas received heavy damage to trees and equipment, which make it harder for our crews to access the area and make repairs," said Richard Leger, Senior Vice President, Indiana Electric.

Leger added, "Our goal is to significantly reduce the number of outages by the end of the business day. However, due to the extent of damage, some customers could remain without power throughout the evening and into tomorrow. Given the extreme temperatures, we want to make sure customers plan ahead for their personal safety."

CenterPoint Energy reminds all customers:

  • 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.
  • 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:

CenterPoint Energy helps develop a diverse, skilled workforce to support energy efficiency in Minnesota

Minneapolis – June 14, 2022 – CenterPoint Energy, Minnesota's largest natural gas utility, is teaming up with eight technical colleges and community nonprofit organizations to expand training opportunities for a diverse, next generation workforce to support energy efficiency in the state.

With approval from the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, CenterPoint Energy's workforce development initiative has two goals: 1) to increase the number of skilled trades professionals with energy efficiency expertise, and 2) to increase the diversity of this skilled trades workforce with a focus on historically underrepresented groups.

"CenterPoint Energy has long been a leader in helping our customers improve their energy efficiency to save money and reduce their carbon footprint," said Christe Singleton, CenterPoint Energy's Vice President of Minnesota Gas. "To continue and expand this commitment, it's essential to develop a workforce equipped with the knowledge and skills to support energy efficiency in Minnesota homes and businesses."

With its Conservation Improvement Program (CIP), CenterPoint Energy in Minnesota has long been recognized as having among the foremost natural gas energy efficiency programs in the country. In addition to conserving energy, lowering customers' energy costs and reducing carbon emissions, energy efficiency programs support job creation and local economic development.

Energy efficiency is involved in a wide range of family-supporting career opportunities, including construction; energy auditing; weatherization/air sealing/insulation; and the installation and maintenance of Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVAC-R) equipment.

Through a $2.5 million competitive grant program, CenterPoint Energy is teaming up with the following eight technical colleges and community nonprofit organizations:

Avivo (avivomn.org)

A nonprofit leader in workforce development and behavioral health for 60 years, Avivo helps more than 11,000 individuals annually overcome significant barriers and achieve economic stability and advancement. In partnership with the Regional Apprenticeship Training Center in north Minneapolis, Avivo will offer career-track training programs in HVAC-R Technician and Facilities Maintenance Engineering.  

Center for Energy and Environment (CEE) (mncee.org)

CEE is a clean energy nonprofit with special expertise in energy efficiency that stretches back nearly 40 years. Along with community partners, CEE will expand its residential energy efficiency training, internship and job placement program, with a focus on areas of concentrated poverty in suburban Hennepin County.

Dunwoody College of Technology (dunwoody.edu)

For more than 100 years, Dunwoody has trained and educated the future workforce for technical careers and applied trades. Dunwoody will provide scholarship support for students in its new Pathways to Careers program, which is designed to attract, train and graduate underserved and underrepresented populations.

Hennepin Technical College (hennepintech.edu)

Hennepin Technical College is one of the most diverse colleges in Minnesota and offers the largest HVAC-R program in the state. The College will expand the residential HVAC-R program at its Brooklyn Park campus, including acquisition of equipment for a new lab space. The College will also upgrade equipment for the HVAC-R program at its Eden Prairie campus and develop a new curriculum on automated energy management systems for commercial buildings.

Minneapolis Regional Chamber Development Foundation (mplschamber.com/foundation)

The Foundation supports the Elevate Futures initiative, including a digital platform to connect educators, employers, students and jobseekers to career exploration and job opportunities. The Foundation will develop a Careers in Energy learning module for the platform to provide information and insights into career pathways in energy efficiency.

ServeMinnesota (serveminnesota.org)

ServeMinnesota oversees all AmeriCorps service programs in Minnesota. It will expand recruitment of low-income and racially diverse individuals for one year of service as Home Energy AmeriCorps members. Each individual will be matched with an energy professional from a local Community Action Program agency to gain training, coaching and work experience in the Weatherization Assistance Program as a gateway to career opportunities in the energy sector.

StudiOne-Eighty (studio-180.org)

StudiOne-Eighty is a nonprofit organization located in south Minneapolis that operates Lake Street Works, a two-year construction skills, personal development and financial literacy training program for low-income, racially diverse 11th and 12th grade high school students. StudiOne-Eighty will remodel its building, including energy-efficient equipment, to support the Lake Street Works program.

Summit Academy OIC (saoic.org)

Summit is a nonprofit, accredited adult education center and workforce development agency with nearly 50 years of experience helping residents of the Twin Cities poorest neighborhoods acquire the skills, education and networks to obtain family-sustaining employment. Summit will develop and integrate an energy efficiency curriculum, including new equipment, into its 20-week construction training program.

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 March 31, 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

CenterPoint Energy focuses on safety, encourages energy efficiency as temperatures rise

Evansville – June 13, 2022 The Evansville region is anticipating temperatures in the upper 90s to near 100 degrees this week, with heat indexes reaching 100 to 115 degrees. CenterPoint Energy has a long-standing policy of halting disconnections for customers with past due balances during extreme weather situations.

"For the safety of our customers, CenterPoint Energy will monitor the weather and adjust our disconnects of Indiana electric customers with outstanding balances in accordance with our long-standing policy," said Richard Leger, Senior Vice President, Indiana Electric.

Customers with past due balances are encouraged to contact CenterPoint Energy at 800-227-1376 to discuss payment options and resources available to avoid service disruption. Extended payment arrangements will continue to be offered to customers needing assistance.

CenterPoint Energy urges customers to stay safe and consider ways to conserve energy to help manage summer energy bills. Extreme temperatures cause higher usage and can also put a strain on customers' cooling units. CenterPoint Energy is encouraging customers to be mindful of their usage and offers the following energy efficiency tips to reduce bills:  

  • Set thermostats two to three degrees higher; set programmable thermostats to higher temperatures when no one is home.
  • Turn off non-essential electric appliances, equipment and lights. 
  • Minimize use of major appliances, such as stoves, dishwashers, washers and dryers, if you must use them, choose the late evening.
  • Avoid opening refrigerators or freezers more than necessary. 
  • Use microwaves for cooking instead of an electric range or oven. 
  • Close your blinds or curtains to keep sunlight out. The sun's rays will warm your home and cause additional air conditioning use.
  • Set the direction of your ceiling fan to counterclockwise in the summer so that it will circulate cool air. With this cooling effect, you can raise the thermostat three to four degrees and feel just as comfortable. 

CenterPoint Energy continues to monitor temperatures and adjust disconnections for non-payment of electric service once temperatures moderate. Disconnects for natural gas customers with past due balances will continue as scheduled.