CenterPoint Energy

Texas Electric and Natural Gas Company

For business

What is CenterPoint Energy?

Based in Houston, CenterPoint Energy is a transmission and distribution utility (TDU) for Texas. Along with electricity transmission, it offers natural gas distribution, and energy services operations. The company has been through a number of names during its more than 140 years in business. CenterPoint employs about 9,600 people across the nation.

In February 2019,  CenterPoint Energy closed on its merger with Vectren. That action brought the company’s reach to 7 million natural gas and electric customers in eight states: Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Texas.

How to Understand Deregulation in Texas?

Depending on the state, electric utilities work under different structures. In most states, there is no energy choice. Residents sign up for electricity from their utilities.

Even when there is energy choice, however, the system is different in some states. For example, most Texas residents and businesses must choose a retail electricity provider, while in other states with energy choice residents may stick with their utility. The levels of choice are known collectively as energy deregulation, which is designed to encourage competition.

Since 2002 in Texas, which is one of many deregulated states, more than 5 million residents have made a choice of which provider they’d prefer.

Confused yet? Don’t be. We’re here to provide you with many solutions when it comes to choosing a provider. Here are some resources you’ll find helpful:

What is the difference between a utility and a provider?

One big question from many energy customers is this: What’s the difference between an energy provider and a utility company? Knowing the role of each can help you make your choice of provider with more clarity.

Let’s break it down:

Utility vs. Provider

Utilities deliver natural gas or electricity to a home or business. They source energy from a provider and maintain lines and other infrastructure to deliver it to customers.

If your power goes out, you should call your utility. It’s also the entity that sends your monthly bill.

Energy providers, on the other hand, generate or buy the energy that is supplied by the utilities.