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Go mobile this summer and relax 

Whether you’re headed out of town this summer for a well-deserved vacation, or simply relaxing at home, reduce your bill-paying hassles by taking advantage of CenterPoint Energy‘s mobile self-service options:

  • ​​View a bill from anywhere, anytime
  • Make an online payment
  • Set up automatic payments
  • Report a payment made at a CenterPoint Energy payment center
  • Set up bill reminders for text or email
Learn more about how you can relax wherever you are this summer

We’re helping combat scams against utility customers

CenterPoint Energy is taking part in a national campaign called Utilities United Against Scams by making our customers aware of telephone, mail, email, door-to-door and other in-person scams that rob victims of cash and/or their identity. In these scams, criminals pose as utility company representatives demanding immediate payment or personal information. 

Scammers are: 

  • ​Impersonating electric, natural gas and/or water company employees over the phone, in person or by other means. 
  • Targeting vulnerable demographics, including senior citizens and non-native English-speaking persons. 
  • Using advanced tactics, such as playing a telephone recording that sounds like a utility company’s phone system message or displaying a utility company’s name and logo in person. 
  • ​Threatening to disconnect or suspend utility service if immediate payment is not received. 

If you believe that you have been contacted by a criminal impersonating an electric, natural gas or water company representative: 

  • ​Hang up the phone or close the door and call your utility company’s verified, direct phone number to verify a payment or amount due. You can find this number on your utility company’s website or on your utility bill. Request to see identification before allowing an employee or contractor near you or into your residence.
  • Contact 911 if you feel your safety is threatened and report it to the local police.  If the call is made to 911 first, the police have a better chance of immediately apprehending the perpetrator.
  • After the call is placed to 911, please call and report the incident to the local utility provider and the Better Business Bureau that serves your state. 
  • Do not give the caller or visitor a prepaid card (such as a Green Dot card), a wire transfer or any other form of payment that may be difficult for law enforcement officials to trace.  Customers should only use authorized methods and legitimate banking information to pay their bills.
  • Ignore suspicious requests from an unverified source for personal information such as bank account numbers, user names and passwords, credit card numbers and Social Security numbers. 
  • Delete and block any emails from utilities that are not your service provider. 

It’s time to replace your CO alarm

​This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Minnesota state law requiring carbon monoxide (CO) alarm installation. This occasion is a good reminder that CO alarms DO expire.  Even the best alarms installed 10 years ago will expire this year so, put “buy new CO alarm” on your to-do list. 

Remember, according to law, alarms should be installed 10 feet from each sleeping quarter, per manufacturer recommendations. Purchase your up-to-date alarm from your favorite retailer or through Home Service Plus​.

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Pour on energy savings with water heater rebates

Heating water for bathing, cooking and more is the second largest energy user in your home, accounting for 15 percent of your total energy use. Only heating your home tops it. If your water heater is aging, you might be spending more than you need to due to inefficiencies and you may be at risk for damage from a water heater leak. Replacing your water heater before it leaks will save you money, time and hassle.

Ask your dealer, plumber or retailer about which natural gas water heater is right for your home and qualifies for a rebate of up to $250

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Easy energy efficiency tips can save you money

  • ​​Heating and cooling represents about 50 percent of your home’s energy use. To optimize your heating and cooling efficiency, keep your HVAC system clean including filters, fans, ducts and vents. Clean or change filters monthly or as recommended by the manufacturer during heating and cooling seasons and keep the condensation drain open. And, do not block air circulation from vents or cold air returns with furniture or window coverings. 
  • Lowering your water heater’s temperature from 140 F to the recommended 120 F can reduce water heating costs by up to 10 percent. After lowering the temperature on the water heater, use a thermometer to check the temperature of water flowing from your faucets. 
  • Save energy and reduce cooling costs: take time to caulk areas in and around your home where conditioned air may escape or warm air may enter. These areas include where windows and door frames meet siding, where gaps exist between the foundation and your house, where storm doors meet window frames (except for the small drain holes at the bottom of storm doors and windows) and where gaps exist around utility outlets, outside faucets, vents or fans. 
  • When washing clothes, use warm or cool water instead of hot and save up to 50 percent on the cost of water heating. 

Clean up on energy savings with laundry rebates 

 

CenterPoint Energy customers can now get up to $100 back with the purchase and installation of a qualifying ENERGY STAR® natural gas clothes dryer and/or clothes washer. (Terms and conditions apply.)

ENERGY STAR-certified natural gas clothes dryers use about 20 percent less energy than conventional models and ENERGY STAR clothes washers use 25 percent less energy and 45 percent less water than regular washers. Make the switch today and save!

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It’s seve​re weather season – be prepared

Your reliable natural gas service is rarely affected by storms. But, if your home does get damaged, follow these safety tips:

  • ​Do not turn off your natural gas service at the meter. Meters maintain proper line pressure and prevent water from entering pipes if flooding occurs.
  • To cut off natural gas service, turn the gas off at each appliance.
  • If your home floods, call a licensed plumber or gas appliance technician to inspect your appliances and gas piping to make sure they’re in good operating condition before calling CenterPoint Energy to reconnect service. This includes outdoor gas appliances such as pool heaters, gas grills and gas lights.
  • Before cleaning up debris, or to locate underground natural gas lines and other underground utility lines, call 811 – the national Call Before You Dig number to ensure underground utilities are properly marked.
  • Be aware of the location of your natural gas meter. As debris is put out for heavy trash pick-up, be sure it is placed away from your meter. In many areas, meters may be located near a curb. If debris is near a gas meter, the mechanized equipment used by trash collectors could pull up the meter, damage it and cause a potentially hazardous situation. 

If you smell natural gas

  • ​If you smell natural gas (it smells like rotten eggs) leave the area immediately on foot and tell others to leave as well.
  • Do not turn lights on or off, smoke, strike a match, use a phone (including cell phones) or operate anything that might cause a spark, including a flashlight or generator.
  • Once safely away from the area, call 911 and then CenterPoint Energy.

Dig safely this summer 

 

​Whether you’re planting flowers or shrubs or embarking on an ambitious deck or patio project, digging safely should always be top-of-mind.

Be sure to call 811, the nationwide Call Before You Dig number, at least two working days BEFORE you dig. Underground facilities will be marked by professional locators with flags or spray paint at no cost to you. Always respect the marks and dig with care!

Striking a single phone, cable, gas or electric underground line can cause injury, repair cost, fines and outages. Every digging project, no matter how large or small, requires a call to 811 – it’s the law! Encourage your friends and neighbors to visit call811.com​ for more information about the call-before-you-dig process. 

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Corporate Responsibility Report details commitment to community

CenterPoint Energy’s 2017 Corporate Responsibility Report, Stewardship through Values is available for you to download and read about the variety of community partner  initiatives CenterPoint Energy undertook last year including environmental, social and government. 

The report follows the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards, the leading framework used by organizations to disclose environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance.

Highlights include:

  • ​Environmental: Environmental stewardship is a critical component of the company’s overall corporate responsibility approach. CenterPoint Energy has a long history of conducting its businesses in a safe, environmentally responsible manner and is committed to compliance with all applicable environmental laws and regulations.
  • Social: CenterPoint Energy actively works to build trust, strengthen relationships and make a positive impact in its service territory. The company’s stakeholders include individuals and groups who impact – or are impacted by – CenterPoint Energy and its business operations, such as customers, communities, employees, investors, suppliers and regulators.
  • Governance: Ethical conduct and good corporate governance are priorities for CenterPoint Energy’s employees, leadership and board of directors. Good corporate governance, as well as a strong ethics and compliance program, are in the best interests of company stakeholders and critical to long-term success. To that end, CenterPoint Energy has implemented corporate governance and business conduct policies and procedures that reinforce our values of safety, integrity, accountability, initiative and respect.
We invite you to review the report and provide us with your feedback. As always, additional information about our Giving Back approach is available online. 

Our electric crews make a difference in Puerto Rico 

Arecibo, Puerto Rico, is 1,965 miles across the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean from CenterPoint Energy’s electricity delivery service area in greater Houston, Texas, but that didn’t stop about six dozen of our linemen from joining over 1,500 crews from U.S. utilities to help Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority restore power following Hurricane Maria. 

CenterPoint Energy sent two waves of crews to the Arecibo area. They faced logistical and geographical challenges: much of Puerto Rico's electric grid is in rugged, mountainous terrain with little or no road access after Hurricane Maria. Our teams worked hard to restore power to more than 5,100 households and businesses in the area. 

"Because of the many challenges, this mission was unique,” said Ed Scott, director of operations for CenterPoint Energy.  “Crews often worked all day to restore service to only a handful of residents. Our highly skilled employees replaced a total of 276 poles and 2,674 spans of wire." 

Added head line mechanic Jose Padilla (pictured), "Assisting Puerto Rico was personal; I have family members and friends there. It was an honor to be a part of the crews and immensely gratifying to turn the lights on for Puerto Ricans. The residents of the region were very grateful. I will never forget the great memories and experiences of my time on this beautiful island."   

Coming to the aid of other utilities is nothing new to CenterPoint Energy employees. Over the years, crews have 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.

View photos and videos of us #PoweringPR at Facebook.com/CenterPointEnergy.

Community Partnership Grants

Fifteen years ago, CenterPoint Energy started the Community Partnership Grant program, providing an opportunity to work with communities on a shared commitment to safety.  We have since funded more than 848 projects and awarded more than $1.5 million in grants.  The program offers matching grants up to $2,500 for eligible safety and emergency response equipment until the funds for this year’s program are depleted.

Tree Trust event helps create outdoor classroom 

In late April, Minnesota employees spent the day sharing CenterPoint Energy’s concern for the environment by supporting Tree Trust’s Learning with Trees - Outdoor Classroom at the Lyndale Community School in Minneapolis. CenterPoint Energy construction crews helped prepare for the event by pre-digging holes for trees and benches then during the event by installing benches and planting trees and shrubs, to be used as an outdoor classroom.   

The company’s donation provided the trees, forestry staff and materials to add to the beauty and shade of the school grounds and provided a hands-on activity for students to learn about the environment. Learn more about how CenterPoint Energy is making an impact on your community.

​Sound the Alarm event provides free fire alarms and more 

 
In support of our partnership with the Minnesota Region of the American Red Cross, CenterPoint Energy employees recently volunteered at the Minneapolis Sound the Alarm. Save a Life event. Volunteers installed free smoke alarms, replaced batteries in existing alarms and helped families create escape plans. CenterPoint Energy donated 900 fire alarms for this event. 


CenterPoint Energy wants YOU to Stay Safe and Smart! 

 

Safe and Smart is a fun, interactive website for students of all ages, parents and teachers to learn about natural gas. The website features safety tips by age, from elementary through teens, videos, activity sheets and games designed to increase awareness of natural gas concepts and how to be safe around natural gas.   Additional information about energy conservation and careers in the energy industry is also available.  

Visit  CenterPointEnergy.com/SafeandSmart to learn where natural gas comes from, how it is used and how to be safe and smart and smart around it.

Construction under way – get in the know 

To better inform customers, municipalities and others impacted by CenterPoint Energy gas facilities construction activity, we developed a construction activity website in 2014. High profile projects are posted online and users are invited to subscribe to receive email or text updates about construction projects of interest to them, as well as other topics on natural gas safety.

Most major construction projects​ are posted online, but should customers have questions not answered on the website, they can call the telephone numbers found on the website.

Stay in the know about activity in your area – whether near home or on your commute. Subscribe today.

Join the fun at CenterPoint Energy’s Torchlight Parade

 

Mark your summer calendar for July 18 – that’s when tens of thousands of your closest friends and neighbors will line the streets of downtown Minneapolis for the annual CenterPoint Energy Torchlight Parade​. Floats, entertainment and much more will create a night to remember.

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Your opinion matters 

At CenterPoint Energy, we are always looking for how we can best serve our customers. We have an open invitation to each of you to join our Feedback Forum, where you’ll be asked on a few occasions each year for your opinion on a particular topic. Topics of the short surveys vary depending upon your state. Minnesota customers recently shared opinions and behaviors about Renewable Natural Gas​.​

It just takes a few minutes and your feedback is greatly appreciated!