CenterPoint Energy

InfluenceMap Score
Performance Band
Organisation Score
Relationship Score
Houston, United States
Official Web Site:

Climate Lobbying Overview: CenterPoint Energy appears to have mostly negative engagement on climate-related policy. The company has limited top line communications on climate policy but has actively engaged at the U.S. state level to preserve the role of fossil gas and block the transition toward electrification in the building and power sectors.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: CenterPoint has mixed top-line messaging on climate policy. While its 2020 Corporate Responsibility Report describes the company’s own transition plans as consistent with the goal of limiting global temperature rise to 2°C, it is unclear whether CenterPoint is supporting the global emissions reductions demanded by the IPCC. CenterPoint’s 2020 Carbon Policy statement presents an ambiguous position on climate change science and advocates for domestic policy that balances reasonable regulation with energy supply needs. The utility does not disclose a position on the Paris Agreement.

Engagement with Climate-Related Policy: CenterPoint Energy appears to have negative engagement with climate-related legislation. In May 2021, CenterPoint supported a Minnesota bill that was passed into law which lowers energy savings goals for private fossil gas utilities and minimizes requirements for fuel switching from fossil gas to carbon-free energy. That same month, the utility registered in support of a Texas bill that would prohibit municipalities from directly regulating their greenhouse gas emissions. In June 2021, the Guardian reported on how CenterPoint advocated for Louisiana state legislation that weakens fossil gas leak reporting policies by amending the definition of fossil gas pipelines. In its 2018 CDP Climate Change Information Request, Vectren (which announced its merger with CenterPoint in 2018) stated its support for energy efficiency standards with minor exceptions, such as the need for standards to support a diverse fuel portfolio.

CenterPoint also demonstrates negative positions on federal-level climate policies. In both its Q4 2021 and Q1 2022 federal lobbying reports, the utility disclosed its opposition to the proposed methane fee in the Build Back Better Act. InfluenceMap did not find evidence of either Vectren or CenterPoint engaging with methane regulations, including the reinstatement of Obama-era standards in 2021.

Positioning on Energy Transition: CenterPoint appears to be heavily engaged on legislation at the U.S. state level to protect the role of fossil gas in the energy transition. In the first half of 2021, CenterPoint has lobbied against electrification ordinances and supported state bills that prohibit the discrimination of fossil fuels in buildings and utility services. For example, on its corporate website, the company seems to be supporting recent legislation that would prohibit fossil gas bans in service states— two bills in Ohio that were introduced in March 2021, and one Indiana bill that was signed into law in May 2021. In March 2021, CenterPoint was listed on the witness list in favor of Texas House Bill 17, which prohibits discrimination against any energy source or type. E&E News further reported on the company’s anti-electrification activity in Texas in June 2021, quoting the company as saying that it was “trying to be ahead of the curve and be proactive rather than reactive” in preempting gas bans in its service area. CenterPoint also supported Indiana’s Public Law 180 to prohibit fossil gas bans, which was enacted in May 2021, according to the Indiana Environmental Reporter.

CenterPoint has also focused on developing renewable natural gas policies in the state of Minnesota. In January 2021, CenterPoint addressed a letter to Minnesota Representative Jamie Long on the Energy Conservation and Optimization Act, specifically supporting the bill because it avoided an electrification mandate in the state. The company developed and proposed the Natural Gas Innovation Act which became law in July 2021, creating a voluntary program in which gas utilities can submit innovation plans to recover the cost of introducing low- and zero-carbon alternatives into the distribution system, including renewable natural gas and green hydrogen. However, CenterPoint specifically refuted the benefits of electrification measures in the bill, which, unlike the other technologies and fuel forms specified in the text of the bill, are not eligible for cost recovery.

Industry Association Governance: CenterPoint has provided a 2019 list of trade associations to which it annually pays $50,000 or more in membership dues, without providing details on the groups’ climate policy positions or its engagement with them on climate change policy. The company has not published a formal review of its industry associations. On its investor relations webpage, CenterPoint includes a Political Engagement document broadly stating that the trade associations of which it is a member take a wide variety of positions on many matters, not all of which CenterPoint supports. CenterPoint is a member of the American Gas Association (AGA), which lobbies with largely negative positions on climate policy. Former CenterPoint CEO Scott Prochazka, in advance of his tenure as 2020 Chair of the AGA, stated in late 2019 that AGA was planning its strategy to oppose municipal bans on fossil gas in the building sector.

Strength of Relationship

How to Read our Relationship Score Map

In this section, we depict graphically the relationships the corporation has with trade associations, federations, advocacy groups and other third parties who may be acting on their behalf to influence climate change policy. Each of the columns above represents one relationship the corporation appears to have with such a third party. In these columns, the top, dark section represents the strength of the relationship the corporation has with the influencer. For example if a corporation's senior executive also held a key role in the trade association, we would deem this to be a strong relationship and it would be on the far left of the chart above, with the weaker ones to the right. Click on these grey shaded upper sections for details of these relationships. The middle section contains a link to the organization score details of the influencer concerned, so you can see the details of its climate change policy influence. Click on the middle sections for for details of the trade associations. The lower section contains the organization score of that influencer, the lower the more negatively it is influencing climate policy.