Reducing Methane Emissions
CenterPoint Energy is focused on responsibly reducing methane emissions related to our natural gas operations to help achieve our Scope 1 Net Zero goal.
We are also working to help our residential and commercial customers reduce emissions attributable to their use of natural gas as part of our goal to achieve a 20-30% reduction in Scope 3 end-use emissions by 2035. Our approach aligns with the U.S. commitments made at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties in Glasgow to reduce global methane emissions by 30% by 2030.
Investments for Future State: 2030
- System modernization and improvement
- Legacy steel and plastic pipe replacement
- Mains for new growth and new customers
- Smart metering technology
- Peak shaving and renewable supply
In our Natural Gas Business, as the approximately 4.3 million homes and businesses we serve across our six-state service territory continue to choose natural gas as a preferred source of energy, we remain dedicated to our capital investment strategy for safety, reliability and growth. Our current capital investment plan of $16 billion is expected to largely support pipeline modernization, smart metering technology, growth, and customer additions.
Modernizing Our Pipeline
We are continuing to upgrade pipelines across our service territory, further reducing methane emissions and enhancing safety. We are actively working to eliminate the last remaining known cast-iron pipe, which is in our Indiana and Ohio system, by 2025.
Overall, we anticipate reducing methane emissions by approximately 33% by 2035 as a result of our modernization efforts and methane-reduction technologies.
Natural Gas Highlights
- We operate one of the world’s largest fleets of Picarro Surveyor advanced natural gas leak survey detection.
- We employ ZEVAC® (Zero Emission Vacuum and Compressor), an innovative and environmentally responsible technology that uses compressed air to suction a pipeline segment, transferring the gas to an adjacent pipeline so it is not released into the atmosphere.
- We are one of the first natural gas utilities in the United States to produce and add green hydrogen to our distribution system. In 2022, we launched a green hydrogen pilot project in Minnesota, using renewable electricity to safely split hydrogen from water and then blend the hydrogen at low concentrations with natural gas. With essentially no carbon emissions from either its production or end use, green hydrogen has the potential to be an important zero-carbon supplement to conventional natural gas.
- In June 2023, we submitted a five-year plan under Minnesota’s Natural Gas Innovation Act. The proposal includes projects to promote made-in-Minnesota alternative gasses, such as renewable natural gas and green hydrogen, and pioneering technologies, such as a networked geothermal district energy system and end-use carbon capture.
- In our Natural Gas business, we plan to electrify one-third of our fleet by 2030.
- RNG feed-in tariff projects are under review in Indiana, Minnesota and Texas.
Advanced Metering System
We were the first utility in the nation to deploy state-of-the-art Intelis residential natural gas meters for customer billing nearly two years ago. Since then, we have installed more than 275,000 meters across our footprint. We expect to install more than 4 million meters by 2032. The new meters improve natural gas usage measurement accuracy for our customers and feature a safety shutoff valve that automatically activates if natural gas flow or high temperatures exceed certain thresholds.
Intelis meter safety features and efficiencies:
- Meter reading capability from centralized locations
- Remote shutoffs for enhanced safety
- Alerts to Customer Service for valve shutoffs and potential meter tampering