President and Chief Executive Officer
A Message from Dave Lesar, President and Chief Executive Officer
At CenterPoint Energy, our ESG commitments are foundational to our premium value proposition. Two of the three pillars of our value proposition directly underpin these ESG commitments, providing sustainable, resilient and affordable customer service, and supporting a sustainable positive impact on our environment and communities, and directly contribute to our third pillar – sustainable growth for shareholders.
Advancing our cleaner energy transition.
In the fall of 2021, in furtherance of our journey to execute on our strategy to transform CenterPoint Energy into a premium utility through sustainable growth, we took a significant transformational step with the announcement of meaningful goals for reducing carbon emissions attributable to our operations and customer usage. Given our headquarters in Houston, the heart of the nation’s energy industry and the fourth largest city in the United States, our customers expect us to be an industry leader in the transition to safe, cleaner and resilient energy, and we intend to meet this expectation with our announced leading goals to achieve Net Zero for our Scope 1 (direct) and Scope 2 (indirect) greenhouse gas emissions by 2035. Meeting our Net Zero goals are critical to our success, so, beginning in 2022, we have aligned our executive compensation to support achievement of these and other ESG goals.
Our path to Net Zero is based upon actionable pathways, with minimal reliance on carbon offsets, and we are well on our way to meeting that goal. In 2022 we continued to reduce GHG emissions attributable to our natural gas operating systems through our infrastructure modernization plans, and we are successfully executing on our generation transition plan in Indiana. Specifically, we have advanced our transition to Net Zero with the addition of approximately 700 megawatts of utility solar projects that have either been approved, or are pending approval, and just recently received final approval for the replacement of the A.B. Brown coal-fired units with new lower carbon natural gas-fired combustion turbines. These new natural gas-fired combustion turbines are expected to provide reliable power to complement and support our expanding renewable portfolio. And we are very excited to announce the successful launch of our first green hydrogen pilot project in Minnesota, using renewable electricity to produce zero-carbon hydrogen for addition to our gas distribution system.
Providing sustainable, resilient and affordable customer service.
In order to remain sustainable, cleaner energy must remain affordable. CenterPoint Energy’s continuing focus on customer affordability centers around a disciplined focus on driving annual 1-2% O&M savings, coupled with annual 1-2% organic growth. In addition to our disciplined approach, CenterPoint Energy’s utilities are located in constructive regulatory environments and the company has been working successfully with its regulators to mitigate impacts from high gas costs related to winter storm Uri.
Strengthening our communities.
Our company maintains a strong focus on the communities we serve. In 2022, the CenterPoint Energy Foundation announced a $2.8 million commitment to support economically disadvantaged communities that are part of the City of Houston’s Complete Communities Initiative. These investments are funding projects to advance equity, vitality and resiliency in the communities we serve. We also continue to collaborate with the City of Houston as a partner in the City’s regional master energy plan, Resilient Now. A great example of this collaboration is our corporate goal to transition our light duty fleet to electric vehicles, coupled with the City’s desire to significantly grow vehicle electrification opportunities throughout its footprint and CenterPoint Energy’s plans to provide the infrastructure necessary to enable the City to meet its vehicle electrification goals.
We continue to believe that we must lead by example, and we are very proud of our accomplishments this year in advancing our cleaner energy transition and strengthening the communities we serve.
President and Chief Executive Officer, CenterPoint Energy
August 12, 2022