Centerpoint Energy, DOE announce results of home energy pilot project

Houston, July 28, 2011 CenterPoint Energy, Inc.'s electric transmission and distribution unit, CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric, LLC and U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel B. Poneman released survey results from a 500 participant smart meter In-Home Display pilot program begun last fall.

Based on surveys, 71 percent of customers reported that they have changed their electricity consumption behavior as a result of the energy use data they accessed on their in-home displays.

The results were released while Poneman visited Houston to see how smart meters and intelligent grid technology partially funded with a $200 million Smart Grid Investment Grant from the U.S. Department of Energy are enabling consumers to better monitor and manage their electric use and helping modernize the electric infrastructure.

In the survey:

* 83 percent of respondents reported turning off lights at night or when not in the room,

* 51 percent of respondents reported adjusting the temperature on their thermostat,

* 93 percent of respondents reported they are satisfied with their in-home display, and

* 97 percent of respondents reported they will continue using it.

Consumers who have already received their smart meter no longer have to wait for their bill to access their electric consumption information.

In the future, consumers will have the option of purchasing an in-home display, providing them with up-to-the-minute usage information. The survey responses from the pilot show that this type of real-time data can have an impact on consumers' energy use behavior.

In addition, smart meters are read remotely, minimizing the need to go house-to-house. Smart meters will also automatically notify CenterPoint Energy about outages to help the company restore power more efficiently.

To date, CenterPoint Energy has installed nearly 1.5 million smart meters in its 2.2 million meter system. The company is scheduled to complete deployment in mid 2012. By automating routine transactions, these new smart meters have eliminated more than 1 million routine service visits by employees in vehicles since 2009.

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