Carbon monoxide exposure incidents increase 10 percent during winter
CenterPoint Energy and Minneapolis Fire team up to keep your family safe
2016-01-21T06:00:00Z

MINNEAPOLIS – January 21, 2016 – Carbon monoxide (CO) incidents increase by more than 10 percent during the winter months.  CO is often called the silent killer; it is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas which when inhaled, enters the blood stream preventing proper absorption of oxygen, leading to illness and even death.  According to the Minnesota State Fire Marshal Division, municipal fire departments across Minnesota respond to approximately 2,000 CO incidents or more each year; including serious injury or death. 

 “Typically, CO is created when fuels such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil or methane don’t burn completely,” said Tim Boettcher, master service technician for CenterPoint Energy’s Home Service Plus®. “Home heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel inadequately can be sources of carbon monoxide.” 

 “According to the Minnesota Poison Control Center, there are thousands of deaths each year as a result of carbon monoxide, making it the leading cause of death due to poisoning,” said Bryan Tyner, Minneapolis Fire Department Assistant Chief. “Additionally, our response to non-fire related CO incidents increase by 10 percent during the winter, so the time for prevention is now.”

CenterPoint Energy together with the Minneapolis Fire Department reminds the public of important safety tips about how to recognize the symptoms and signs of CO exposure
  • Flu-like symptoms including headaches, nausea, fatigue, confusion and dizziness that disappear when a person breathes fresh air.
  • ​Unusually high indoor humidity with persistent heavy condensation on walls and windows and soot or water collecting near a burner or vent can be an indication of CO.
  • Stuffy, stale or noticeably poor indoor air quality.
If you suspect CO exposure, leave the area immediately taking your pets with you and tell others to do the same. Once you are safely away from the area, call 911 to report the suspected CO incident.
 
Treatment for CO exposure is fresh air or oxygen. Severe exposure requires medical attention. Do not return to your home or building until the source of the problem is discovered and corrected.  

To prevent CO build up:​
  • As required by law, purchase a CO detection device with an audible alarm and digital display and install it no more than 10 feet from each sleeping quarter. Fuel-burning appliances, equipment and combustible engines all produce CO that can reach dangerous levels if improperly operated or maintained.   
  • ​Have fuel-burning equipment regularly checked by a qualified technician (most manufacturers recommend annual check-ups). 
  • ​​Never operate an automobile, lawn mower or any combustion engine, barbecue grill or similar equipment in an enclosed area such as your home, garage, tent, fish house, trailer or place of business, even with the door open. Any pollutants in the air from the garage, such as a car engine running, can travel into the structure and CO can accumulate.
  • Never leave a fire smoldering in a fireplace. 
  • Check frequently for visible signs of problems, such as high indoor humidity and soot or water collecting near a burner or vent.  
  • Equipment that uses natural gas should produce a clear blue flame. A yellow or orange flame may indicate a qualified technician should check for a potential problem with the equipment.
  • Provide adequate combustion air for all your appliances.
  • Be certain fuel-burning equipment properly vents to the outdoors. 
  • Keep vents, fresh air intakes and chimneys clear of debris or other obstructions and check for vent pipes that have gaps, leaks, spaces or are rusted through.
  • Never attempt to heat a room with a range, oven or clothes dryer 

For more information about natural gas safety, visit www.centerpointenergy.com/besafe​  or call 612-372-4727 or 1-800-245-2377.



CenterPoint Energy, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission & distribution, natural gas distribution and energy services operations. The company serves more than five million metered customers primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas. The company also owns a 55.4 percent limited partner interest in Enable Midstream Partners, a publicly traded master limited partnership it jointly controls with OGE Energy Corp., which owns, operates and develops natural gas and crude oil infrastructure assets. With more than 7,400 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 140 years.

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CenterPoint Energy linemen head east to help with aftermath of Hurricane Michael

Houston – Oct. 10, 2018 – This morning, more than 100 CenterPoint Energy linemen, contractors and support personnel departed for Florida to assist Gulf Power with anticipated power outages resulting from Hurricane Michael.

Crews are expected to arrive to their destination on Thursday and will work 12- to 16-hour days restoring power. "Our thoughts are with those in the path of Hurricane Michael," said Steve Greenley, vice president of Distribution Operations for CenterPoint Energy. "Once the storm has passed, our dedicated team will work to restore service as safely and quickly as possible."

CenterPoint Energy is also sending transmission crews to help with repairs. "Our transmission crews will help repair high-voltage power lines so electricity can be distributed to homes and businesses in the impacted areas," said Martin Narendorf, vice president of High Voltage Operations for CenterPoint Energy.

CenterPoint Energy is part of electric utility mutual assistance programs which provide access to thousands of linemen and tree trimmers from around the country to lend a hand during widespread power outage emergencies. Over the years, CenterPoint Energy crews have restored power to hundreds of thousands of customers throughout the country who were left in the dark following hurricanes, ice storms, tornadoes and severe thunderstorms.

For updates, follow CenterPoint Energy on Facebook and Twitter.

CenterPoint Energy provides important flood safety tips

Minneapolis – Oct. 09, 2018 – With flooding expected in parts of Minnesota, CenterPoint Energy reminds residents of some important natural gas safety tips.

Before a flood:

  • Do not turn off natural gas at the meter. The gas meter should be left on to maintain proper pressure in the gas piping within the house and to prevent water from entering the lines should flooding occur.
  • If a customer wishes to discontinue gas service, the gas should be turned off at each appliance.

After a flood:

  • If your home was flooded and your natural gas meter was underwater, call CenterPoint Energy to schedule an inspection. The meter may need to be replaced.
  • Have flooded appliances inspected by a qualified technician, like HSP before operating the equipment.  This includes outdoor gas appliances such as pool heaters, gas grills and gaslights.
  • If your home did not flood and your natural gas is turned off at the meter, call CenterPoint Energy to reconnect service.
    • Be alert for leaking gas as you return to your home or business. If you smell gas, leave the area immediately on foot and tell others to do the same.
    • Do not turn the lights on or off, smoke, strike a match, use a cell phone or operate anything that may cause a spark, including a flashlight or driving your car.
    • Do not attempt to turn natural gas valves on or off.
    • Once safely away from the area, call the 24 hours emergency gas leak hot line number 1-800-296-9815 and 911 to report the location and description of the leak.

CenterPoint Energy, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission & distribution, natural gas distribution and energy services operations. The company serves more than five million metered customers primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas. The company also owns 54.0 percent of the common units representing limited partner interests in Enable Midstream Partners, LP, a publicly traded master limited partnership it jointly controls with OGE Energy Corp. Enable Midstream Partners, LP owns, operates and develops natural gas and crude oil infrastructure assets. With more than 8,000 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 150 years. The utility also operates a non-regulated business in Minnesota called Home Service Plus®.  For more information, please visit CenterPointEnergy.com.

Call CenterPoint Energy now for Cold Weather Rule protection

Minneapolis – Oct. 08, 2018 – CenterPoint Energy is reminding customers about certain rights and their responsibilities as it relates to the Cold Weather Rule (CWR). The CWR protects residential customers who are experiencing difficulty paying their natural gas bill from having their natural gas service disconnected between Oct. 15, 2018 and April 15, 2019.

While the CWR does not prevent customers from being disconnected for nonpayment, it does provide customers with extra protection as defined in the CWR. However, residential customers must contact CenterPoint Energy to set up a payment plan.

"The Minnesota Cold Weather Rule isn't just for customers who may have trouble paying their natural gas bill during cold winter months," said Brad Tutunjian, vice president of CenterPoint Energy Gas Operations in Minnesota.  "It is also there for customers whose service is currently disconnected.  If you are a customer in this position, I urge you to call us now to set up a payment plan under the rule. We can work together to create a payment plan so that you get service throughout the heating season."

Customers who anticipate having trouble paying their entire natural gas bill, have received a Notice of Proposed Disconnection, or need gas service reconnected are all urged to call CenterPoint Energy to establish a payment plan. A payment plan will include what is owed and the amount to be billed. The plan will also take into consideration a customer's financial situation and any other special circumstances. The plan must be agreeable to both the customer and CenterPoint Energy. If an agreed-upon payment plan cannot be reached, customers have a right to appeal under the CWR.

Under the CWR, special payment terms are available to customers who:

  • Apply for and receive Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funding assistance in Minnesota; or
  • Meet income guidelines set by the state of Minnesota and provide proof of income.

Other helpful information:

  • In addition to calling CenterPoint Energy to discuss and establish a payment plan, company representatives are available to refer customers to social service agencies who may have energy assistance funds;
  • Customers interested in helping others pay their natural gas bill can support the Salvation Army's HeatShare program. Visit The Salvation Army's website to make a donation.

Call CenterPoint Energy to set up a payment plan at 1-612-372-4680 or 1-800-729-6164. For additional information, please visit CenterPointEnergy.com/ReadyForWinter.

 

CenterPoint Energy, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission & distribution, natural gas distribution and energy services operations. The company serves more than five million metered customers primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas. The company also owns 54.0 percent of the common units representing limited partner interests in Enable Midstream Partners, LP, a publicly traded master limited partnership it jointly controls with OGE Energy Corp. Enable Midstream Partners, LP owns, operates and develops natural gas and crude oil infrastructure assets. With more than 8,000 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 150 years. The utility also operates a non-regulated business in Minnesota called Home Service Plus®.  For more information, please visit CenterPointEnergy.com.

CenterPoint Energy Inc. announces closing of $1.5 billion senior notes offering

Houston - Oct. 5, 2018 - CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (NYSE: CNP) today announced the closing of its offering and sale of $1.5 billion of senior notes comprised of $500 million aggregate principal amount of 3.60% senior notes due 2021, $500 million aggregate principal amount of 3.85% senior notes due 2024; and $500 million aggregate principal amount of 4.25% senior notes due 2028.

CenterPoint Energy intends to use the net proceeds from the offering to finance a portion of the cash consideration payable by CenterPoint Energy in connection with its pending merger with Vectren Corporation (Vectren Merger), as well as a portion of the related fees and expenses. If for any reason the Vectren Merger is not completed on or prior to Oct. 31, 2019, CenterPoint Energy will be required to redeem all of the senior notes at a redemption price equal to 101% of the principal amount of the senior notes plus accrued and unpaid interest, if any, to, but excluding the date of redemption.

Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, Morgan Stanley, Mizuho Securities, MUFG and RBC Capital Markets served as joint bookrunners. Additional joint book-running managers were PNC Capital Markets LLC, Regions Securities LLC, TD Securities and US Bancorp. Senior co-managers were BNY Mellon Capital Markets, LLC and Comerica Securities. Guggenheim Securities, LLC and Loop Capital Markets served as co-managers.

This news release does not constitute an offer to sell, or the solicitation of any offer to buy, any security and shall not constitute an offer, solicitation or sale in any jurisdiction in which such offering would be unlawful.

CenterPoint Energy, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission & distribution, natural gas distribution and energy services operations. The company serves more than five million metered customers primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas. The company also owns 54.0 percent of the common units representing limited partner interests in Enable Midstream Partners, LP, a publicly traded master limited partnership it jointly controls with OGE Energy Corp. Enable Midstream Partners, LP owns, operates and develops natural gas and crude oil infrastructure assets. With more than 8,000 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 150 years.

This press release includes forward-looking statements that are not historical facts. Actual events and results may differ materially from those projected. Forward-looking statements in this press release include, but are not limited to, the use of proceeds from the offering and the Vectren Merger.  Factors that could affect actual results include, but are not limited to, the factors discussed in CenterPoint Energy's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, CenterPoint Energy's Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 2018, and June 30, 2018, and CenterPoint Energy's other SEC filings.

Factors that could affect the company's ability to complete the Vectren Merger include, but are not limited to, the satisfaction of the conditions to the Vectren Merger discussed in the prospectus supplement and accompanying base prospectus and other factors discussed in the company's SEC filings.

CenterPoint Energy partners with Akin Gump for Houston Volunteer Lawyers-sponsored will clinic

Houston – Oct. 3, 2018 – As part of its ongoing commitment to community involvement, CenterPoint Energy partnered with Akin Gump, a leading international law firm, to provide pro bono will preparation services to Houston residents at a recent Houston Volunteer Lawyers Will Clinic sponsored in partnership with the City of Houston Department of Neighborhoods.

Through the will clinic, lawyers from CenterPoint Energy and Akin Gump's Houston office collaborated to provide will preparation services to more than 30 Houstonians in need. The will signing took place on Thurs., Sept.13, in the historically significant Emancipation Cultural Center. The center is located in the park of the same name that was established by African American Houstonians in the 1870s as a home for Juneteenth celebrations of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.

"CenterPoint Energy's Legal Department participates in a number of volunteer events each year. We are especially proud to support Mayor Turner's 'Complete Communities' initiative and the important work performed by Houston Volunteer Lawyers," said Monica Karuturi, vice president and AGC of Corporate and Securities for CenterPoint Energy. "We are also grateful for the generous support of Akin Gump, our partner in this community service."  

Akin Gump Partner Robert Shearer, who led Akin Gump's participation in the clinic, added, "We have been thrilled to partner with our client, CenterPoint Energy, and a great organization like Houston Volunteer Lawyers to be able to provide meaningful assistance to residents of Houston."

Houston Volunteer Lawyers serves as the pro bono legal aid arm of the Houston Bar Association, and helps thousands of people across the Houston area each year with their most pressing legal needs. This will clinic is one of several that the organization will sponsor in underserved communities throughout Houston this year.

The clinic is part of Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner's "Complete Communities" initiative for the City of Houston, an initiative aimed at improving neighborhoods so that all of Houston's residents and business owners can have access to quality services and amenities.

About CenterPoint Energy

CenterPoint Energy, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission & distribution, natural gas distribution and energy services operations. The company serves more than five million metered customers primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas. The company also owns 54.0 percent of the common units representing limited partner interests in Enable Midstream Partners, LP, a publicly traded master limited partnership it jointly controls with OGE Energy Corp. Enable Midstream Partners, LP owns, operates and develops natural gas and crude oil infrastructure assets. With more than 8,000 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 150 years.

About Akin Gump

Founded in 1945, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is a leading international law firm with more than 900 lawyers in offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.