HOUSTON, Aug 03, 2009 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ -- CenterPoint Energy, Inc.'s (NYSE: CNP) electric transmission and distribution subsidiary, CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric LLC, reached a significant milestone on Aug. 1 when it completed the installation of 45,000 smart meters and started delivering enhanced smart meter functionality to Retail Electric Providers (REPs), including 15 minute interval energy usage data. CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric delivers energy to Houston, the nation's 4th largest city and "energy capital of the world," and home to N.A.S.A. and the Texas Medical Center.
"This is a significant achievement in our technology development," said Kenny Mercado, division senior vice president, Advanced Metering System Deployment. "Smart meter functionality is an important step in providing consumers with the insight and tools to monitor their usage so that they can make smart energy decisions."
Smart meters will be read remotely virtually eliminating the need to go house to house. The smart meter functionality also enables remote connection and disconnection of electric service, which should reduce the time it takes to process service orders for most homes and some small businesses.
With this functionality, REPs can also view their customers' historical 15-minute interval usage over an interim CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric Web portal and next year a portal will be available to consumers as well. This will help consumers monitor the effects of thermostat adjustments or changes in energy use. Using less energy can save consumers money, which means less power may need to be produced, benefiting the environment.
In addition to providing enhanced functions that increase consumer awareness of their energy usage, the new smart meter functionality will make it easier and more cost-efficient to create Home Area Networks to monitor electric usage with in-home devices and remotely control Zigbee-enabled appliances and thermostats. Consumers should contact their REPs for more information.
CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric's five-year smart meter deployment began in March 2009. By the end of the year, 145,000 smart meters will be installed along with the necessary communications infrastructure and computing systems. 2.4 million meters are expected to be installed system-wide by the project's completion in 2014.
Visit CenterPointEnergy.com/EnergyInSight for the latest information on smart meters, including deployment maps for 2009 - 2014.
CenterPoint Energy, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission & distribution, natural gas distribution, competitive natural gas sales and services, interstate pipelines, and field services operations. The company serves more than five million metered customers primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas. Assets total nearly $19 billion. With about 8,800 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 130 years. For more information, visit the Web site at www.CenterPointEnergy.com.
This news release includes forward-looking statements. Actual events and results may differ materially from those projected. The statements in this news release regarding future financial performance and results of operations and other statements that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements. Factors that could affect actual results include the timing and impact of future regulatory and legislative decisions, effects of competition, weather variations, changes in CenterPoint Energy's or its subsidiaries' business plans, the timing and extent of changes in commodity prices, particularly natural gas, the impact of unplanned facility outages , and other factors discussed in CenterPoint Energy's and its subsidiaries' Form 10-Ks and their Form 10-Qs for the periods ended December 31, 2008, and March 31, 2009, and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Media: Floyd LeBlanc Phone 713.207.7125 Investors: Marianne Paulsen Phone 713.207.6500
SOURCE CenterPoint Energy, Inc.
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