Centerpoint Energy and Texas Electricty

CenterPoint Energy - previously known as Houston Lighting & Power Co., has served the Houston area for more than 150 years. In 1999, the parent company, Houston Industries Inc., reorganized itself into Reliant Energy Inc. When Texas deregulated its energy market, the company spun off its retail electric business as Reliant Resources and later its generation operations, Texas Genco. The remaining energy transmission and distribution business renamed itself as CenterPoint Energy.

What CenterPoint Energy Does for Texans

CenterPoint Energy is headquartered in Houston, Texas. It distributes and delivers electricity to an estimated 2.5 million customers in a 5,000 square mile area that includes the Houston area via it's Intelligent Grid. This grid design relies on smart meters and sensors to detect, locate, and report outages automatically. This allows the operators to isolate the problem area and reroute power around it, reducing the number of people affected and the duration of the outage. Using about 57,000 miles of transmission and distribution power lines, the company deliversapproximately 87 million megawatt hours of electricity to business and residential customers.

In 2018, CenterPoint Energy and Vectren Corporation announced they had entered into a definitive merger agreement to form an energy delivery, infrastructure, and services company. As a result, Vectren Energy became a subsidiary of CenterPoint Energy and now provides natural gas and/or electricity to customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Indiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Texas.

CenterPoint Service Area Electricity Companies

Company Rating Phone
Champion Energy Services
Energy Texas
Payless Power
Chariot Energy
Green Mountain Energy
4Change Energy
TriEagle Energy
TXU Energy
Veteran Energy
Frontier Utilities
Gexa Energy
Direct Energy
Southern Federal
Ranchero Power
XOOM Energy
Amigo Energy
Just Energy
Discount Power
Tara Energy
Hello Energy
GoodCharlie Energy
NRG Home
SFE Energy
28 results

Frequently Asked Questions About Centerpoint Energy

Here are answers to some common questions that people have had about Centerpoint Energy

Featured Plans In The Centerpoint Energy Footprint

These are a few plans that we think you'll like. We also have a more detailed listing of all TX plans for Centerpoint Energy, or you can use our Centerpoint Energy Rate Comparison Page to find a great deal

Important CenterPoint Energy Outage Information

Centerpoint Electricity Outages:


Downed power lines are especially dangerous and should be reported immediately by calling: 713-207-2222.

Storm damage, equipment failure, and even simple accidents can knock out the power not just to your home but to your neighborhood and your entire community. Power outages are not only inconvenient to comfort but often crucial to safety. If the power goes off suddenly, the first thing a Texas electricity customer should do is to contact their local utility transmission/distribution utility (TDU). These companies are responsible for maintaining the poles, wire, and substations that deliver electricity to your home.

CenterPoint Gas Outages:

To report natural gas outages and leaks, call 713-659-2111 888-876-5786

CenterPoint Energy Outage Tracking

Customers can track power outages at the CenterPoint Energy Tracker website. They can view areas that affect them and see detailed outage information from all over the CenterPoint Energy service territory.

CenterPoint Energy's outage map for its service area is very detailed, providing information on the number of people affected and an estimate on when power will be restored. Map data is transmitted from electrical equipment where the outage originates. For reasons of security and safety to homes and businesses, CenterPoint Energy does not supply specific addresses affected by a power outage.

CenterPoint Energy In The Houston Community

With a 150 year legacy of serving Houston, CenterPoint Energy has long been invested in supporting its educational, civic, social and environmental initiatives that enhance the city's quality of life. CenterPoint Energy's employees serve on more than 400 nonprofit boards and advisory committees and the company has sponsored a variety of charitable events throughout the Houston area, including:

  • Sponsoring The 12th annual charity saltwater Fish Tournament which raised $76,000 for Kids Unlimited Foundation and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Texas Gulf Coast.
  • In 2016, CenterPoint Energy joined the #GivingTuesday movement. Its employees and retirees, as well as their families contributed 237,500 hours in volunteer effort to their communities. The company also donated more than 2,000 grants to qualified nonprofit organizations.
  • doo Hurricane Harvey recovery and relief efforts in 2017. Donations were divided into $250,000 gifts to the American Red Cross for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, the City of Houston Mayor's Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, and the United Way of Greater Houston. The company also donated $300,000 to support its employees throughout its service area who were affected by the storm.
  • In 2018, CenterPoint contributed more than $1.5 million to 88 United Way chapters across the entire service area, achieving a record employee participation rate of 77 percent.
  • Beginning in 2019, CenterPoint will match personal contributions of a $50 minimum and up to $5,000 per employee each year through the Easy Match program.
  • Each year, the company distributes 3,000 tree seedlings during the annual Houston Zoo Party for the planet on Earth Day.

CenterPoint Energy Street Lights

CenterPoint Energy owns, powers, and maintains more than 173,000 streetlights in Houston alone. Because streetlights are so important to public safety, you can report streetlight problems to CenterPoint Energy's streetlight online form. When you are contacted be sure to provide the 6 digit pole number or the nearest address where the light is located.

It's not surprising that streetlights use a lot of electricity. According to the City of Houston, the city typically installs 100-Watt High Pressure Sodium lights in residential areas and 250-Watt High Pressure Sodium lights along major thoroughfares. For that reason, the City of Houston along with CenterPoint are converting Houston's streetlights over to LED technology. Since LEDs are more energy efficient, it's estimated that Houston will save about 70 million kilowatt hours annually. That's enough to power 5,400 local homes for one year.

View CenterPoint Energy Rate Fees

Utility Company

Base Customer Charge

Per kWh Rate

Price at 500 kWh Price at 1000kWh Price at 2000 kWh

CenterPoint Energy (Houston)


$0.040312 cents per kWh 

0.0513 0.0458 0.0430

Oncor  (Dallas)


$0.038447 cents per kWh

0.0453 0.0419 0.0402

AEP (Abilene)


$0.024837 cents per kWh

0.0412 0.0330 0.0289

TNMP (Fort Stockton)


$0.025670 cents per kWh

0.0414 0.0335 0.0296

Why Are CenterPoint Energy Charges So High?

As many CenterPoint Energy customers know, TDU charges alone can add 1/3 or more to your monthly bill because they depend on how much electricity you use to power your home. For example, total CenterPoint Energy charges per kWh add up to $0.040312 (or 4.0312 cents per kWh). If you use 1000 kWh per month, you'll be charged $43.12 to have that 1000 kWh delivered to your home. Add in CenterPoint Energy's customer charge of $5.47 and your total monthly delivery charge roughly comes to $48.59!

That doesn't even include ANY of the electricity you from your electricity retail provider!

While these charges aren't welcome expenses, remember that CenterPoint Energy is required by the State of Texas to reliably operate and maintain a distribution system supplying some 300 cities and towns with electricity and in some areas, natural gas as well.

Keeping their part of the ERCOT electric grid running smoothly to supply nearly 2.5 million people with reliable energy in all kinds of Texas weather is an intensive and expensive job.

Before CenterPoint Energy can change its rates, it must file a request with the Public Utility Commision of Texas. The PUC updates rates (also called "tariffs") twice a year. CenterPoint Energy and other TDUs can file rate change requests whenever they want but all such changes must be first reviewed and approved by the commission before they can go into effect.

Compare and Save on Your CenterPoint Electricity Bill

CenterPoint Energy Rate Breakdown

Electricity customers in Texas pay separate charges for their electricity supply and the electricity's transmission and distribution. Transmission and distribution charges on your bill covers the cost of maintaining the poles and wires of the local grid to get your electricity to your home or business. Basically, TDSP or TDU charges are really transmission and distribution charges from your local utility.

On your bill, TDSP or TDU charges reflect two main charges:

  • A fixed-rate customer charge. This charge is made up of the cost of maintaining an account with CenterPoint Energy and a metering charge measuring your usage.
  • Transmission/distribution charges per kWh used during the month.

But while TDSP or TDU charges are usually somewhat explained on the monthly bill, many customers are often confused because providers "TDSP" and "TDU" sometimes use these terms interchangeably.

What do TDSP and TDU Mean?

The problem is that when deregulation started, "TDSP" and "TDU" were bandied about interchangeably by regulators, legislators, and providers to mean the same thing; local distribution charges. But there is actually a somewhat subtle difference.

"TDSP" or "Transmission/Distribution Service Provider" is mainly used by ERCOT. ERCOT runs the electricity markets plus takes care of the day to day BULK transmission/distribution operations on the Texas grid (those tall HIGH VOLTAGE, high tension power lines.) ERCOT works with transmission/distribution service providers (the companies that own and operate these big power lines) to send megawatts of electricity where it needs to go at the right time. According to ERCOT, "TDSPs own/operate, for compensation, the equipment/facilities to transmit and/or distribute electricity in Texas."

TDSPs include:

  • Bulk transmission companies (high tension lines that move hundreds of megawatts across the state)
  • Rural Electric Cooperatives (RECs)
  • Municipal-Owned Utilities (MOUs)
  • Investor Owned Utilities (IOUs) that operate a Transmission and Distribution Utility (TDU) in Texas.

"TDU" or "Transmission/Distribution Utility" is mainly used by the PUC of Texas. The PUCT regulates and approves transmission rates set by the different utilities such as MOUs and IOUs that deliver electricity locally to homes and businesses. According to PUCT, a TDU is the local utility company (which includes the monopoly IOU companies) that handles the local transmission and distribution to local customers within its service territory. In short, TDUs handle the local distribution to home and business users, track usage, and bill everyone equally to help maintain the equipment.

TDUs include:

  • CenterPoint Energy
  • Oncor Energy
  • AEP (North and Central)
  • TNMP
  • Sharyland Utilities

One way to think of this whole transmission/distribution process is that once the electricity arrives from the TDSP (bulk supply) at the local city/town switching station it then becomes the TDU's job to deliver the electricity to homes and businesses at the PUC approved tariff amount.

Oddly enough, this would-be clear distinction is clouded by the fact that all the major TDU companies that distribute power on local grids are also TDSPs. This is because the same companies are all involved in planning, building, and operating the major transmission lines reaching across the state.

So, it's not surprising that twenty years ago, TDSPs and TDUs became interchangeable terms in the Texas energy energy industry because there didn't seem to be a significant reason to distinguish between the two roles. In fact, even though "TDU" is a PUCT term, a number of PUCT reports concerning local transmission/distribution companies that date before 2006 only use "TDSP". However, beginning around 2006, the PUCT began using "Transmission and Distribution Utility" or "TDU" in its orders and rulings. In one PUCT rule-making case in 2006, TDU is used 679 times throughout the report but TDSP is used only once.

Which is right: TDSP or TDU? Both. Texas electricity customers still see local distribution or deliver charges on their bills listed as TDSP or TDU charges and there's absolutely nothing wrong with it.

But technically speaking because these are PUCT-approved delivery tariff charges from the Transmission/Distribution Utility (TDU) and not bulk transmission from ERCOT's Transmission/Distribution Service Provider (TDSP), it's more accurate to call these "TDU distribution charges".

Electricity Rates in CenterPoint Energy Service Area, Houston

We've created a step by step guide to help you get the cheapest electricity rate. Plus we've built tools to help analyse your Texas electricity plan and CenterPoint Energy rate. Or you can use our CenterPoint Energy Bill Calculator tool.

How do I get the Cheapest CenterPoint Rate?

We've created a step by step guide to help you get the cheapest electricity rate. Plus we've built tools to help analyse your Ceneterpoint Energy rate. Or you can use our CenterPoint Energy Bill Calculator tool.

Compare CenterPoint Energy Rates in Houston

Company & Plan Term Rate
4Change Energy - Maxx Saver Select 12 12 9.2¢
4Change Energy - Maxx Saver Select 24 24 9.2¢
Frontier Utilities - Frontier Saver Plus 12 12 9.2¢
Gexa Energy - Gexa Eco Saver Plus 12 12 9.2¢
Frontier Utilities - Frontier Saver Plus 24 24 9.2¢
Gexa Energy - Gexa Eco Saver Plus 24 24 9.2¢
Chariot Energy - GridEdge 36 36 10.8¢
Chariot Energy - GridEdge 24 24 10.9¢
Chariot Energy - GridEdge 18 18 11.0¢
Energy Texas - Come & Take It 12 12 11.0¢

Houston - CenterPoint Electricity prices as of 05-29-2023. See all Houston Electricity Rates.

Compare and Save on Your Texas Electricity Bill

How To Reduce CenterPoint Energy Electricity Delivery Charges

If you've heard that you can reduce your monthly CenterPoint Energy delivery charges, you need to pay attention to this important fact:

All residential electricity customers in the CenterPoint Energy service area pay the same distribution charge rates no matter where who their retail electric provider is.

Residential electricity customers generally do not use the same volume of electricity as businesses. Consequently, they don't need to worry about demand charges, demand ratchets, or time of use charges. However, business and commercial customers as well as places of worship do.

The only way for residential customers to reduce their monthly TDU charges per kWh is to reduce the amount of electricity that they use. Unfortunately, if you've signed up for a tiered rate plan that penalizes you for using less electricity, cutting your usage each month might cost you more.

The smart way to cut your monthly bill is to shop for a new Texas retail electricity provider offering plans and low rates that don't gouge you for using less energy. That's the best way to avoid paying high TDU charge!

Calculating CenterPoint Energy Distribution Charges

  • At the 500 kWh level, CenterPoint Energy TDU charges = $0.05409 OR 5.409 cents per kWh.
  • At the 1000 kWh usage level, CenterPoint Energy TDU charges = $0.045782 OR 4.45782 cents per kWh
  • At the 2000 kWh usage level, CenterPoint Energy TDU charges = $0.043047 OR 4.3047 cents per kWh

At present, CenterPoint Energy distribution charges per month consist of $0.040312 per kWh used and a $5.47 customer charge. On typical Texas electricity EFLs, these charges are factored into the total price of electricity plans to calculate the “average” price. This is done by dividing the amount of the customer charge by the kWh usage amount and then adding that to CenterPoint Energy's price per kWh used amount.

The total “average” price amount is then added to the provider's energy charge.

That said, notice that as the usage level rises, the price per kWh for these CenterPoint Energy Distribution Charges decreases.

Here's what's happening: as the usage rises, the CenterPoint Energy charges are being divided by bigger and bigger usage amounts. As a result, the average price per kWh decreases even though the distribution charge rate ($0.040312 per kWh used and the $5.47 customer charge) doesn't change at all.

This also explains why the average price on retail providers' flat rate electricity plans appears to penalize low usage customers. The key point to remember for flat rate plans is that at the end of the month, the higher your electricity usage the higher your total bill.

CenterPoint Energy Customer Service Number

In Texas, contacting CenterPoint Energy's customer service can be reached by phone at 713-659-2111 or toll free at 800-752-8036. For non-emergencies, customers can send an email. If you're asking for information about the status of a start, stop or transfer service request, you'll need to allow 1-3 business days for completion.

While CenterPoint Energy does not offer the convenience of mobile apps, customers in the company's service area can set up an online account to see energy usage hourly reports for the past 24 months. Customers can also setup communication preferences and take advantage of online scheduling for starting, stopping, or transferring service.

News Articles About Centerpoint Energy

Get Cheap Commercial Electricity Plans in Houston

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Who Has Cheap Commercial Electricity?

Shop cheap commercial electricity for your Houston business. Rates are changing and now is the time to line up a low price fixed term plan to save money!
Electricity rates come down in the spring. Find out who has the best cheap commercial electricity right now for your Houston company.

When you run a business, any expense you minimize increases your bottom line. So it makes sense to pay as little as possible for power. Unlike many home electric plans, commercial plans are straight-forward. You don’t have to figure out whether bill credits, tiered rates, or free nights work with your usage. With CenterPoint Energy managing delivery for everyone, that should make finding cheap commercial electricity simple, right? But the trick is knowing just how much power your business actually uses. That way, you know what to expect on your monthly bill. So, let's check out usage affects your choice of cheap commercial electricity providers in Houston.

Cheap Commercial Electricity Plans

Power provider rates are super competitive right now. Price differences are mere fractions of a penny among plans. Providers are competing hard to serve your business’s power needs. With the average Texas business usage at 7,935 kWh per month, it is easy to see why.  

To begin with, a 48-month plan from Engie has the lowest rate right now at 7.607 cents per kWh. Minus the TDU costs and taxes, an average monthly supply part fo the bill comes to about $604.00. Imagine locking in that energy price for four years! Given how inflation has risen over the past year, holding a firm price could be a big advantage for your business. While your competitors see their utility expenses rise, yours could remain flat with this plan. 

If you don’t want to lock in for four years, Engie has a 36-month plan with a rate of 7.622 cents or about $605 for your energy supply charge. That’s still a good while to have consistent energy pricing.

Meanwhile, Cirro Energy also has a 36-month plan that falls right between these two plans in price. Their plan’s rate is 7.611 cents; or about $604.00. 

Competing Power Providers 

The power market can change over time. If you've been paying sky high prices since August or September, it's time to shop for a better rate! Make sure you have the best information to choose the right plan for your business. Shop for business electric service at Texas Electricity Ratings. Here you’ll find the lowest rates from an array of providers. When they compete, your business wins. 

Best Free Weekend Houston Electricity

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What’s Not To Love With Free Weekend Houston Electricity?

Learn more about these free weekend electric plans in Houston and how you could actually save money.
If you can shift your highest energy use to when it cost less, then you could save more on your monthly bills. We've sort through and found the best free weekend plans in Houston.

Getting something for free always feels great, but sometimes there’s a nagging sensation that what’s free isn’t always free. With free weekends electricity, there’s an inherent trade-off. You pay more for weekday electricity in exchange for cheaper weekend electricity. Free weekend Houston electricity means you don’t have to pay retail energy charges for electricity you consume over the weekend. But you do still have to pay CenterPoint Energy utility charges. 

These plans are great for people who can shift their energy consumption. Say you only do laundry once a week. If you do it on Saturday instead of Thursday, you can save money on that energy consumption. Or perhaps your home is empty during the normal work week, but your house is filled on the weekends. In that case, a free weekend Houston electricity plan could be great for you.  

Free Weekend Houston Electricity From Pulse Power

The best free weekend Houston electricity plan available right now is the Free Energy Weekends 36 plan from Pulse Power. This three-year plan offers power without retail charges from 8 p.m. on Friday to 5:59 a.m. on Monday. With such a generous definition of weekend hours, Pulse Power estimates customers use 40% of their power in the free electricity window. 

This plan’s $123 average bill is not the lowest among free weekend plans. However, the Friday and Monday hours offer customers extra time to push their consumption to times when they save money. If you forget to run your dishwasher Sunday night, you have time to get in a quick cycle before 6 a.m. on Monday. The plan's advertised rate is 12.2 cents.

Pulse Power also offers 24-month and 12-month versions of this plan. Unfortunately, those plans have slightly higher prices. Therefore, the 36-month plan is the best option from this retail electricity provider. 

Lowest Average Bill For Free Weekends

The cheapest free weekends plan is the Free Weekends-12 plan from Champion Energy Services. Running only the 48-hour period of Saturday and Sunday, this plan’s free window is 10 hours per week shorter than the Pulse Power plan. This means customers tend to use only 30% of their consumption during the free weekend hours. But the plan’s average bill is $120 because the weekday rate (12.5 cents) is significantly lower than the Pulse Power plan (13.3 cents). The Champion plan's advertised rate is 13.0 cents.

So the choice you’re left with is whether you want longer free hours with a higher weekday price or shorter free hours with a lower weekday price. Your decision depends on what you predict your energy consumption pattern will be. Can you cram your high power consumption activities into Saturday and Sunday? Or do you need a little wiggle room on Friday night and early Monday morning? Either way, you could save some money.

Free Weekends and More

The best place to shop for Houston power is It doesn't matter whether you want a free weekend plan or something completely different. You can find just the right plan to suit your power consumption needs. 

Zip Codes with the Cheapest Centerpoint Energy Rates in Texas