CenterPoint Energy crews depart for Florida to support power restoration efforts following Hurricane Sally

Houston – Sept. 18, 2020 – This morning, CenterPoint Energy deployed nearly 70 linemen and support personnel from Houston to assist with power restoration efforts in Pensacola, Florida due to Hurricane Sally's extensive damage.

"Our linemen are skilled to perform in any type of conditions, just like they do for our customers at home," said Ed Scott, director of Distribution Operations for CenterPoint Energy. "We are fully committed to restoring power to affected customers as safely and quickly as possible."

CenterPoint Energy crews will begin working 16-hour shifts after the safety and onboarding process is complete and will continue to take the necessary steps to protect the safety and well-being of customers, employees, contractors and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

CenterPoint Energy is part of electric utility mutual assistance programs that provide access to thousands of linemen and tree trimmers from around the country to lend a hand during widespread power outage emergencies. Coming to the aid of other utilities is nothing new to CenterPoint Energy employees. Over the years, crews have responded and restored power to hundreds of thousands of customers throughout the country who have been left in the dark following hurricanes, ice storms, tornadoes and severe thunderstorms.

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

2020-09-18T05:00:00Z
CenterPoint Energy offers natural gas safety tips as Hurricane Laura restoration efforts continue

Houston – Sept. 17, 2020 – CenterPoint Energy urges customers to follow important natural gas safety tips as restoration efforts continue after Hurricane Laura. Following these tips will help customers avoid natural gas leaks and service disruptions.

  • Before cleaning debris, digging on your property or to locate underground natural gas lines and other underground utility lines, call 811, the nationwide Call Before You Dig number.
  • Be aware of where your natural gas meter is located. As debris is put out for heavy trash pickup, make sure it is placed away from the meter. In many areas the meter may be located near the curb. If debris is near a gas meter, the mechanized equipment used by trash collectors could pull up the meter, damaging it and causing a potentially hazardous situation. If this happens, leave the area immediately and call CenterPoint Energy at 888-876-5786.
  • Be alert for the smell of natural gas. If you smell gas, leave the area immediately on foot and tell others to leave, too.
  • If you smell gas, do not turn the lights on or off, smoke, strike a match, use a cell phone or operate anything that might cause a spark, including a flashlight or a generator.
  • Do not attempt to turn natural gas valves on or off. Once safely away from the area, call 888-876-5786 and CenterPoint Energy will send a trained service technician.
  • If your home was flooded, call a licensed plumber or gas appliance technician to inspect your appliances and gas piping to make sure they are in good operating condition before calling CenterPoint Energy to reconnect service. This includes outdoor gas appliances including pool heaters, gas grills and gas lights.
2020-09-17T05:00:00Z
CenterPoint Energy shares important natural gas safety tips as Tropical Storm Sally continues to strengthen in the Gulf of Mexico

Houston – Sept. 14, 2020 – CenterPoint Energy continues to monitor the forecasts closely as Tropical Storm Sally strengthens in the Gulf of Mexico. The company urges customers to keep important pre- and post-storm natural gas safety tips top of mind to stay safe.

  • Do not turn off your natural gas service at the meter in advance of the storm; doing so could allow water to enter the natural gas lines should flooding occur. If you wish to discontinue gas service, turn off the natural gas at each appliance.
  • Always be alert for the smell of natural gas. If you smell gas, leave the area immediately on foot and tell others to leave, too.
  • If you smell gas, do not turn the lights on or off, smoke, strike a match, use a cell phone or operate anything that might cause a spark, including a flashlight or a generator.
  • Do not attempt to turn natural gas valves on or off. Once safely away from the area, call 888-876-5786 and CenterPoint Energy will send a trained service technician.
  • If your home was flooded, call a licensed plumber or gas appliance technician to inspect your appliances and gas piping to make sure they are in good operating condition before calling CenterPoint Energy to reconnect service. This includes outdoor gas appliances including pool heaters, gas grills and gas lights.
  • Before cleaning debris, digging on your property or to locate underground natural gas lines and other underground utility lines, call 811, the nationwide Call Before You Dig number.
  • Be aware of where your natural gas meter is located. As debris is put out for heavy trash pickup, make sure it is placed away from the meter. In many areas the meter may be located near the curb. If debris is near a gas meter, the mechanized equipment used by trash collectors could pull up the meter, damaging it and causing a potentially hazardous situation. If this happens, leave the area immediately and call CenterPoint Energy at 888-876-5786.

For more information, natural gas safety tips and other resources, visit CenterPointEnergy.com/WeatherSafety

2020-09-14T05:00:00Z
CenterPoint Energy Foundation commits $350,000 to Hurricane Laura relief and recovery

Houston – Sept. 3, 2020 – CenterPoint Energy today announced that through its charitable foundation the company has committed $350,000 to nonprofit organizations leading Hurricane Laura relief and recovery efforts, as well as to an employee relief fund to support its impacted colleagues. CenterPoint Energy’s $350,000 commitment will include $150,000 in contributions to the following organizations that are focused on relief and recovery efforts:

Louisiana: Lake Charles area
  • American Red Cross of Lake Charles – $45,000
  • United Way of Southwest Louisiana – $45,000
  • United Way of Acadiana – $10,000
  • The Salvation Army of Lake Charles – $10,000
Louisiana: Shreveport/Ruston area
  • United Way of Northeast Louisiana – $10,000
  • Rolling Hills Ministries – $10,000
Texas: Beaumont/Orange County
  • American Red Cross of Beaumont – $15,000
  • The Salvation Army of Beaumont – $5,000
The company’s commitment will also include up to $200,000 in matching gifts from the CenterPoint Energy Foundation to its employee relief fund. CenterPoint Energy’s employees can make donations to the fund, which will be matched by the foundation $2 for every $1, up to a total of $200,000. An independent, third-party organization will manage distribution of the funds to employees who sustained damages and losses resulting from the storm.

“The safety and well-being of our employees, customers and communities impacted by Hurricane Laura remain our top priorities,” said Scott Doyle, Executive Vice President, Natural Gas. “Through the CenterPoint Energy Foundation’s contributions to local nonprofit organizations and our employee relief fund, we hope to alleviate some of the financial burden placed on those recovering from the storm’s devastation. Our thoughts are with CenterPoint Energy’s employees and customers who were directly affected by the storm.”

CenterPoint Energy continues to assess and repair damage to its natural gas facilities impacted by Hurricane Laura in Louisiana and southeast Texas. Additional company crews from Texas, Mississippi and Arkansas have been deployed to help handle emergencies and restore natural gas service. CenterPoint Energy serves approximately 200,000 customers in the south Louisiana and southeast Texas areas impacted by Hurricane Laura.

Mutual assistance crews from CenterPoint Energy’s Electric Operations in Houston and Indiana are also helping Entergy Texas restore power in the impacted area of Orange, Texas, replacing downed poles, wires and transformers, among other critical work. The company has distribution, transmission, major underground and support personnel on the ground. CenterPoint Energy also expects to provide additional assistance in and around Lake Charles, La.
The company is also partnering with relief and recovery organizations, including the American Red Cross and United Way, on virtual volunteer opportunities and food and supply drives in Houston and Shreveport.
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2020-09-03T05:00:00Z
CenterPoint Energy offers tips to avoid natural gas disruption as Hurricane Laura cleanup begins

Houston – Sept. 2, 2020 – CenterPoint Energy urges customers to follow important natural gas safety tips while cleaning up after Hurricane Laura to avoid natural gas leaks and service disruptions.

  • Before cleaning debris, digging on your property or to locate underground natural gas lines and other underground utility lines, call 811, the nationwide Call Before You Dig number.
  • Be aware of where your natural gas meter is located. As debris is put out for heavy trash pickup, make sure it is placed away from the meter. In many areas the meter may be located near the curb. If debris is near a gas meter, the mechanized equipment used by trash collectors could pull up the meter, damaging it and causing a potentially hazardous situation. If this happens, leave the area immediately and call CenterPoint Energy at 888-876-5786.
  • Be alert for the smell of natural gas. If you smell gas, leave the area immediately on foot and tell others to leave, too.
  • If you smell gas, do not turn the lights on or off, smoke, strike a match, use a cell phone or operate anything that might cause a spark, including a flashlight or a generator.
  • Do not attempt to turn natural gas valves on or off. Once safely away from the area, call 888-876-5786 and CenterPoint Energy will send a trained service technician.
  • If your home was flooded, call a licensed plumber or gas appliance technician to inspect your appliances and gas piping to make sure they are in good operating condition before calling CenterPoint Energy to reconnect service. This includes outdoor gas appliances including pool heaters, gas grills and gas lights.

 

2020-09-02T05:00:00Z
New CenterPoint Energy program to help damaged businesses in Minneapolis area recover from civil unrest

Minneapolis – August 31, 2020 – CenterPoint Energy is launching a new program to help Minneapolis area businesses and property owners recovering and rebuilding from property damage that occurred during the civil unrest this year.

The Rebuild program will offer CenterPoint Energy customers triple the standard rebate amount for the purchase and installation of qualifying natural gas equipment such as high-efficiency heating systems, water heaters and food service equipment.

For example, a restaurant could receive a rebate up to $6,000 for an ENERGY STAR® combi oven or up to $3,000 for an ENERGY STAR® fryer. More than 50 total rebates are available.

For customers who might need extra help identifying energy efficiency opportunities, CenterPoint Energy is also offering no-cost energy analysis and advisory services.

"We know that many of our business customers suffered damage, and we want to be there for them as they rebuild," said Brad Tutunjian, CenterPoint Energy's vice president of Minnesota regional operations. "The Rebuild program reflects CenterPoint Energy's dedication to supporting our communities while helping our customers save money and maximize efficiency, both now and in the future."

Matt Kazinka, Senior Strategic Initiatives Manager with the Lake Street Council, said, "CenterPoint Energy's Rebuild program will help our community at a very challenging time. As small businesses on Lake Street work to rebuild and reopen, they will benefit from every dollar they can save, both as they purchase new energy-efficient equipment and on an ongoing basis as they consume less energy."

Eligible participants include any CenterPoint Energy customer that suffered damage during this year's civil unrest. This includes Minneapolis and other Twin Cities area communities. It does not include St. Paul, which is not served by CenterPoint Energy.

The Rebuild triple rebates are available for qualifying equipment purchased and installed between June 1, 2020, and June 1, 2021. Enrollment deadline is December 31, 2020. CenterPoint Energy will consider special circumstances for more complex projects or purchases outside this timeframe, as long as the customer enrolls by December 31, 2020.

More information about the Rebuild program, including eligible equipment and rebate amounts, is available at CenterPointEnergy.com/REBUILD

The Rebuild program is part of CenterPoint Energy's nation-leading Conservation Improvement Program. For more than 25 years, the utility has partnered with its residential and business customers to help them reduce their energy use and save money with energy efficiency programs.

CenterPoint Energy is Minnesota's largest natural gas utility, serving more than 860,000 residential and business customers. 

2020-08-31T05:00:00Z
CenterPoint Energy crews depart for Louisiana to support ongoing power restoration efforts

Houston – Aug. 28, 2020 – This morning, CenterPoint Energy deployed nearly 400 linemen, contractors and support personnel from Houston and Evansville, Ind., to assist with power restoration efforts in southwest Louisiana due to Hurricane Laura's extensive damage.

"Since the hurricane missed our Houston Electric service territory, we were able to quickly and efficiently deploy critical resources from Houston and Evansville to provide support to our electric utility neighbors to the east," said Kenny Mercado, CenterPoint Energy's Senior Vice President, Electric Operations. "We are fully committed to restoring power to affected customers as safely and quickly as possible."

CenterPoint Energy crews will start working 16-hour shifts after the safety and onboarding process is complete. The company is making plans to send a second wave of resources to support this effort. In response to COVID-19, CenterPoint Energy will continue to take the necessary steps to protect the safety and well-being of customers, employees, contractors and communities.

The company continued to monitor Hurricane Laura's impact and prepared for potential impact as the storm traveled through or near its service territories of Arkansas, Indiana and Ohio.

CenterPoint Energy is part of electric utility mutual assistance programs that provide access to thousands of linemen and tree trimmers from around the country to lend a hand during widespread power outage emergencies. Coming to the aid of other utilities is nothing new to CenterPoint Energy employees. Over the years, crews have responded and restored power to hundreds of thousands of customers throughout the country who have been left in the dark following hurricanes, ice storms, tornadoes and severe thunderstorms.

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

2020-08-28T05:00:00Z
CenterPoint Energy works on recovery efforts in Louisiana and Southeast Texas following Hurricane Laura

Houston – Aug. 27, 2020 - CenterPoint Energy continues to assess and repair damage to its natural gas facilities impacted overnight by Hurricane Laura. Additional company crews from Mississippi and Houston have been deployed to help handle emergencies and restore natural gas service.

"We have started damage assessment but expect there are still many areas in our service territory that we are unable to reach due to flooding and debris," said Scott Doyle, CenterPoint Energy's Executive Vice President, Natural Gas Distribution. "Overall, our gas system in southeast Texas and Louisiana fared well. However, we have not had the opportunity to fully assess the hardest hit areas between Lake Charles and Broussard, La. At this time, we are handling only natural gas emergencies, and will then concentrate on restoring service in areas that are not inhibited by flood waters or other obstacles. We appreciate our customers' patience."

CenterPoint Energy continues to monitor Hurricane Laura's impact and prepare as the storm travels through the company's service territories of Arkansas, Indiana and Ohio.

The company is using advanced technology like the Picarro Surveyor that is a thousand times more sensitive in detecting natural gas leaks, to survey the company's natural gas lines in areas impacted by Hurricane Laura. This technology will help crews quickly address emergencies and assess damage.

To report natural gas emergencies call: 888-876-5786.

CenterPoint Energy offers these post-storm natural gas safety tips.

  • Be alert for the smell of natural gas. If you smell gas, leave the area immediately on foot and tell others to leave, too.
  • If you smell gas, do not turn the lights on or off, smoke, strike a match, use a cell phone or operate anything that might cause a spark, including a flashlight or a generator.
  • Do not attempt to turn natural gas valves on or off. Once safely away from the area, call 911 and CenterPoint Energy at 888-876-5786, and the company will send a trained service technician.
  • If your home was flooded, call a licensed plumber or gas appliance technician to inspect your appliances and natural gas piping to make sure they are in good operating condition before calling CenterPoint Energy to reconnect service. This includes outdoor natural gas appliances, such as pool heaters, gas grills and gas lights.
  • Before cleaning debris, digging on your property or to locate underground natural gas lines and other underground utility lines, call 811, the nationwide Call Before You Dig number.
  • Be aware of where your natural gas meter is located. As debris is put out for heavy trash pickup, make sure it is placed away from the meter. In many areas the meter may be located near the curb. If debris is near a gas meter, the mechanized equipment used by trash collectors could pull up the meter, damaging it and causing a potentially hazardous situation. If this happens, leave the area immediately and call CenterPoint Energy at 888-876-5786.
2020-08-27T05:00:00Z
CenterPoint Energy urges customers to be prepared for potential impacts as Hurricane Laura heads toward the Gulf Coast

Houston – Aug. 25, 2020 – CenterPoint Energy has been closely monitoring forecasts and preparing for potential impacts from Hurricane Laura, which is expected to make landfall late Wednesday or early Thursday. While the exact track still remains uncertain, the company encourages customers to have an emergency plan in place and keep important pre- and post-storm natural gas safety tips top of mind to stay safe.

Natural Gas Safety

  • Do not turn off your natural gas service at the meter in advance of the storm; doing so could allow water to enter the natural gas lines should flooding occur. If you wish to discontinue gas service, turn off the natural gas at each appliance.
  • Always be alert for the smell of natural gas. If you smell gas, leave the area immediately on foot and tell others to leave, too.
  • If you smell gas, do not turn the lights on or off, smoke, strike a match, use a cell phone or operate anything that might cause a spark, including a flashlight or a generator.
  • Do not attempt to turn natural gas valves on or off. Once safely away from the area, call 888-876-5786 and CenterPoint Energy will send a trained service technician.
  • If your home was flooded, call a licensed plumber or gas appliance technician to inspect your appliances and gas piping to make sure they are in good operating condition before calling CenterPoint Energy to reconnect service. This includes outdoor gas appliances including pool heaters, gas grills and gas lights.
  • Before cleaning debris, digging on your property or to locate underground natural gas lines and other underground utility lines, call 811, the nationwide Call Before You Dig number.
  • Be aware of where your natural gas meter is located. As debris is put out for heavy trash pickup, make sure it is placed away from the meter. In many areas the meter may be located near the curb. If debris is near a gas meter, the mechanized equipment used by trash collectors could pull up the meter, damaging it and causing a potentially hazardous situation. If this happens, leave the area immediately and call CenterPoint Energy at 888-876-5786.

In response to COVID-19, CenterPoint Energy implemented its Pandemic Preparedness Plan to help ensure safe, reliable delivery of energy and services to homes and businesses. To respond to the upcoming tropical systems, the company will continue to take the necessary steps to protect the safety and well-being of customers, employees, contractors and communities.

No two storms are alike and flooding can have a significant impact on natural gas operations. For information on natural gas safety, and other resources, visit CenterPointEnergy.com/StormCenter.

2020-08-25T05:00:00Z
CenterPoint Energy urges customers to be prepared for potential impacts as Hurricane Laura heads toward the Gulf Coast

Houston – Aug. 25, 2020 – CenterPoint Energy has been closely monitoring forecasts and preparing for potential impacts from Hurricane Laura, which is expected to make landfall late Wednesday or early Thursday. The company encourages customers to have an emergency plan in place, particularly if they depend on electricity for life-sustaining equipment.

"Hurricanes are unpredictable, which makes it hard to anticipate the impact to our electric system," said Randy Pryor, vice president of Distribution Operations for CenterPoint Energy. "Based on the severity of the event, customers should be prepared for outages and have resources to be without power for at least two weeks or possibly longer."

CenterPoint Energy recommends that customers be prepared to be without service according to the following guidelines:

HURRICANE WIND SPEED ESTIMATED OUTAGE*
CATEGORY 1 winds 74-95 mph 7 to 10 days
CATEGORY 2winds 96-110 mph 2 to 3 weeks
CATEGORY 3winds 111-130 mph 3 to 5 weeks
CATEGORY 4winds 131-155 mph 4 to 6 weeks
CATEGORY 5winds 156 mph and up 6 to 8 weeks

 *Individual restoration times will vary.

In response to COVID-19, CenterPoint Energy implemented its Pandemic Preparedness Plan to help ensure safe, reliable delivery of energy and services to homes and businesses. In the event of a hurricane, the company will continue to take the necessary steps to protect the safety and well-being of customers, employees, contractors and communities.

"We are dedicated to restoring our electrical transmission and distribution system safely and effectively, while also taking the necessary safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We are asking customers to respect social distancing guidelines and not approach working employees and contractors," added Pryor.

The company urges customers to follow important pre-and post-storm electric and natural gas safety tips.

Electric

  • Stay 10 feet away from downed power lines. Be especially mindful of downed lines that could be hidden in flood waters and treat all downed lines as if they are energized. 
  • If you experience flooding and water has risen above the electrical outlets in your home, contact a licensed electrician before turning on the main circuit breaker or trying to restore power. 
  • All electrical appliances and electronic equipment that have been submerged in water need to dry thoroughly for at least one week. Then, have them checked by a qualified repair person before turning them on. Attempting to repair a flood-damaged appliance could result in electrical shock or death. Attempting to restart it could result in further damage and costly repairs.
  • If the outside unit of an air conditioning system has been under water, mud and water may have accumulated in the controls. Have the unit checked by a qualified air conditioning technician.

Natural Gas

  • Do not turn off your natural gas service at the meter; doing so could allow water to enter the natural gas lines. Instead, turn off the natural gas at each appliance only if you choose to do so.
  • Be alert for the smell of natural gas. If you smell gas, leave the area immediately on foot and tell others to leave, too.
  • If you smell gas, do not turn the lights on or off, smoke, strike a match, use a cell phone or operate anything that might cause a spark, including a flashlight or a generator.
  • Do not attempt to turn natural gas valves on or off. Once safely away from the area, call 888-876-5786 and CenterPoint Energy will send a trained service technician.
  • If your home was flooded, call a licensed plumber or gas appliance technician to inspect your appliances and gas piping to make sure they are in good operating condition before calling CenterPoint Energy to reconnect service. This includes outdoor gas appliances including pool heaters, gas grills and gas lights.
  • Before cleaning debris, digging on your property or to locate underground natural gas lines and other underground utility lines, call 811, the nationwide Call Before You Dig number.
  • Be aware of where your natural gas meter is located. As debris is put out for heavy trash pickup, make sure it is placed away from the meter. In many areas the meter may be located near the curb. If debris is near a gas meter, the mechanized equipment used by trash collectors could pull up the meter, damaging it and causing a potentially hazardous situation. If this happens, leave the area immediately and call CenterPoint Energy at 888-876-5786.

For the latest information on electric power outages:

 

2020-08-25T05:00:00Z

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