CenterPoint Energy smart grid investment delivers benefits for consumers, environment

Published: Feb. 3, 2015 at 7:51 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 3, 2015 at 9:00 PM CST
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HOUSTON, TX (WDAM) - This is a news release from CenterPoint Energy

Five years after receiving one of only six $200 million Smart Grid Investment Grants awarded by the United States Department of Energy (DOE), CenterPoint Energy (NYSE: CNP) continues to deliver valuable benefits to consumers and the environment through the company's Advanced Metering System (AMS) and Intelligent Grid (IG). Since beginning installation of the AMS in 2009 and construction of the IG in 2010, CenterPoint Energy has achieved several notable milestones including:

Executing 10,898,256 electronic service orders (e.g. turn on/off service), resulting in:

Vehicle fuel savings of 1,023,774 gallons

Avoidance of 9,098 metric tons of CO2 emissions,

Restoring power to 1,120,754 customers without a phone call, and

Avoiding 101,330,000 customer outage minutes.

"CenterPoint Energy is making strategic investments in technologies that allow us to operate more efficiently, provide better service to customers, and improve air quality in our community," said Kenny Mercado, senior vice president of Electric Operations for CenterPoint Energy. "These technologies automate many operations, giving us faster, more accurate information on outage types and locations to more quickly dispatch the right crew with the right equipment to restore power and ultimately reduce outage durations and improve electric reliability."

The ability of the Advanced Metering System to execute 98.7 percent of routine electric service orders remotely without having to send a crew means faster and cheaper (through the elimination of fees) service as well as fewer trucks on the road emitting carbon dioxide. Avoiding more than 9,000 tons of CO2 emissions, which is equivalent to the emissions from powering 750 average homes with electricity from coal-fired power plants for one year, improves air quality in Houston, the nation's fourth largest city.

All 2.3 million advanced meters installed throughout CenterPoint Energy's greater Houston service area can send the company automated Power-Off Notifications (PONs) and Power-Restored Notifications, which in many cases has helped CenterPoint Energy restore power without relying on a single customer to report the outage. When power does go out, more than 400,000 customers enrolled in the company's new Power Alert Service receive automated alerts by text, email and/or phone call with the cause of the outage, an estimated restoration time, and confirmation when power has been restored.

Construction of CenterPoint Energy's Intelligent Grid, which now covers about 14 percent of the company's electric service area, will continue for years to come. Through the IG's sensors and automated switches, the company can more quickly identify and isolate power outage locations, which, since 2011, has helped customers avoid more than 100 million outage minutes. In 2014, when using the Intelligent Grid, CenterPoint Energy improved power reliability by more than 28 percent.

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 5 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 8,500 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 140 years. For more information, visit the website at


Forward-Looking Statements: 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 future construction of the intelligent grid, 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.

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