1866

Houston Gas Light Company was organized to supply gas (made from oyster shells and coal) for the street lights in a fledgling coastal village in southeast Texas that had sprang from the banks of a winding bayou

1868

  • Houston's first manufactured gas plant, built on the west bank of Buffalo Bayou by Houston Gas Light Company, began making coal gas for distribution to customers.

1870

  • City of Minneapolis granted the newly formed Minneapolis Gas Light Co. a franchise to provide gas service with manufactured gas that was made from coal or oil at a plant along the Mississippi River

1882

  • Houston Electric Light & Power files a charter on May 20 and is granted a franchise by the Houston City Council on June 5
  • The electric company conducted the first test of lights on December 15

1884

  • First electric street lamps in Houston lighted May 31

1886

  • Houston Electric Light & Power franchise transferred to J.W. Jones, a trustee, on March 12

1887

  • Houston Electric Light & Power rechartered and taken over on June 21 by bitter rival Houston Gas Light Company

1888

  • A franchise to operate in Houston was granted to Fort Wayne Jenny Electric Light Company of Indiana

1889

  • Citizens' Electric Light & Power Company chartered on July 29 and three days later purchased the franchise and all the equipment of Fort Wayne Jenny Electric Light Company

1891

  • Citizens' Electric acquired Houston Electric Light & Power from Houston Gas Light Company on January 7, once again uniting Houston's electric utility into one company

1898

  • Citizens' Electric Light & Power Company went into receivership on January 7
  • Boiler explosion and subsequent fire destroyed Citizens' Electric power plant on March 26-27

1900

  • The Gable Street power plant, which produced all of Houston's power for the first quarter of the century, placed its first two steam engines into service.

1901

  • A Houston Lighting & Power Company 1901 charter was drawn on November 12 by three men, including receiver Blake Dupree, who were all connected to the investment arm of General Electric, which was the bondholder of Citizens' Electric's assets
  • Citizens' Electric Light & Power Company property and franchises sold on December 3 to HL&P 1901, whose charter was filed in Austin that same day

1905

  • An organization of businessmen was granted the first franchise for distribution of natural gas in Shreveport, Louisiana

1906

  • Houston Lighting & Power Company 1905 is organized on January 9

1912

  • Houston Gas Light, once owner of HL&P, was succeeded by Houston Gas and Fuel

1922

  • HL&P 1905 is acquired by National Power & Light, another General Electric property, in a transfer of stock on March 21
  • HL&P 1905 changed its name to Houston Lighting & Power Company on April 3 and formed the company that would serve the Houston area for the next 80 years
  • First electric traffic signals went into operation on May 18

1925

  • Goose Creek Water & Light Company purchased from R.S. Sterling, May 1
  • Uniform power schedule adopted for suburban towns, July 1
  • La Porte granted franchise, July 3
  • La Porte Water, Light & Ice Company purchased, October 5

1926

  • HL&P used natural gas as a boiler fuel for the first time in February, pioneering the concept

1927

  • Pasadena Light Company was purchased from Charles Meyer on February 28 for $6,250; 123 customers; estimated annual revenue $5,000
  • Bellaire Gem Electric Company purchased from Clarence Anderson on April 27 for $12,500; 321 customers; estimated annual revenue $16,000
  • South Houston Electric Company purchased from South Texas Fireworks Company on May 27 for $7,500; 61 customers; estimated annual revenue $4,000
  • Pelly electric property purchased from Charles Trifon on May 28 for $22,000; 371 customers; estimated annual revenue $20,000
  • Humble electric property purchased from S.P. Bellow on June 1 for $5,000; 60 customers; estimated annual revenue $4,000
  • Freeport Light, Water & Ice Company purchased from Freeport Sulphur Company on July 25

1929

  • Elena and Highlands Light & Water Company purchased from W. Garth and H.K. Johnson on January 30

1930

  • Houston's first lighted, nighttime baseball game played July 22
  • Houston Gas & Fuel joined 39 other small independent companies in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi to form United Gas Corporation on June 3

1931

  • Galveston Electric Company and electric properties of Galveston-Houston Railroad Company and Hitchcock Ice & Storage Company purchased on August 17

1934

  • Arkansas Louisiana Gas was formed from a merger of several small natural gas companies
  • Nationwide natural gas pipeline system expanded to Minnesota, and Minneapolis Gas Light Co. began using natural gas with manufactured gas

1940

  • Sealy electrical property purchased from Central Power & Light on October 8
  • First medical insurance plan for employees at HL&P became effective October 1

1943

  • HL&P's ties with the holding company, National Power & Light, severed on May 14
  • HL&P's common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and trading began on August 16

1945

  • First employee retirement plan at HL&P became effective on July 1

1947

  • Minneapolis Gas Light Co. switched entirely from manufactured gas to natural gas, needing to convert 370,000 appliances to run on "straight" natural gas instead of mixed gas

1948

  • American Gas and Power Co. changed its name to Minneapolis Gas Co. and acquired all the assets of Minneapolis Gas Light Co.

1953

  • Arkansas Louisiana Gas was established as a publicly owned corporation on an order of the SEC under the Public Utility Holding Company Act and the stock is listed on the American Stock Exchange

1955

  • Peak demand for electricity in Houston surpassed one million kilowatts for the first time, between 1 and 2 p.m. on June 27
  • 400,000th electricity customer meter installed in Houston area on September 30

1957

  • Houston voters approved a new 50-year franchise for HL&P during a special election on July 27; franchise became effective October 1
  • Clute became the first city outside Houston to grant HL&P a new 50-year franchise on October 10

1959

  • Minneapolis Gas Co. first used the unofficial name of Minnegasco and used an Indian maiden icon to create a modern, helpful image

1960

  • Boiler No. 2 at Webster exploded on August 11, causing more than a half-million dollars in damage.
  • HL&P requested first rate increase in company's history on September 27
  • Arkansas Louisiana Gas acquired Consolidated Gas Utilities Corp., Southwest Natural Gas Co. and MidSouth Gas Co.

1961

  • Hurricane Carla did $1.5 million in damages to HL&P property on September 11
  • Houston's population reached one million on September 18

1962

  • 500,000th customer connected to power in Houston on December 7

1965

  • Conversion from incandescent to mercury vapor street lights began in June; completed in 1967, two years ahead of schedule
  • New Galveston Service Center dedicated on October 28
  • Groundbreaking ceremonies held for Electric Tower on December 9

1968

  • Electric Tower opened for business in downtown Houston on July 8
  • First issue of HL&P preferred stock in 24 years, July 11

1970

  • United Gas Corporation, which grew out of the company that acquired HL&P in 1887, merged with Pennzoil and spun off the distribution unit as United Gas, Inc., which later became Entex
  • Minimum bill for HL&P customers increased to $1.90 on December 22

1971

  • State-of-the-art Energy Control Center dedicated in Downtown Houston on May 9

1973

  • South Texas Project announced on June 6; Participation Agreement signed by HL&P, CP&L and San Antonio on July 1; Austin joined STP on December 1

1974

  • Application for construction permit for South Texas Project filed with the Atomic Energy Commission on May 17
  • United Gas, Inc. name changed to Entex, Inc.
  • Minnesota Gas Co. merged with Minnesota Natural Gas Company
  • Minnesota Gas Company acquired Central Natural Gas Company
  • Executive elections for HL&P were held on December 3 and J.G. Reese was elected chairman of the board and CEO, and Don D. Jordan was elected president

1975

  • Public hearings on STP nuclear plant began on April 22
  • Texas Legislature passed bill providing for the creation of the Public Utility Commission on June 2; PUC began functioning on September 1
  • Limited Work Authorization for STP granted August 12
  • Preliminary work at STP began September 22
  • Construction permit issued for STP on December 22

1976

  • Entex acquired the gas distribution properties of the Houston Natural Gas Corporation
  • Employee Stock Ownership Plan initiated at HL&P on September 15
  • Formation of Houston Industries, Inc. was approved by HL&P stockholders on December 8
  • Minnesota Gas Co. acquired Cengas, natural gas properties of CENTEL — Central Telephone and Utilities Corp. in Nebraska and South Dakota

1977

  • HL&P formed an in-company Law Department in July
  • HL&P customer count surpassed 800,000 on November 30
  • First coal-fired generating plant went into service

1981

  • Arkansas Louisiana Gas Company shareholders voted to change the company name to Arkla, Inc.
  • Bechtel Power Corp. was announced on September 24 as the design engineer for STP, replacing Brown & Root
  • Austin voters authorized City Council on November 3 to sell the city's 16 percent interest in STP
  • Brown & Root announced total withdrawal from STP on November 4
  • Minnesota Gas Co. began creating its Home Service Plus retail business to continue appliance repair service when it could no longer do so as a regulated natural gas company

1982

  • Diversified Energies, Inc. holding company was formed with Minnegasco, Inc. as its subsidiary
  • Ebasco Services, Inc., named on February 15 as contractor to complete STP
  • Don D. Jordan was elected chairman and CEO, and Don Sykora was elected president and COO of HL&P and Houston Industries on May 12
  • Allens Creek nuclear power facility officially canceled on August 26

1983

  • City of Austin filed suit in Travis County State District Court on January 7 seeking release from the STP Participation Agreement
  • Engineering transition from Brown & Root to Bechtel completed at STP on January 20
  • Final concrete pour for STP No. 1 completed two months ahead of schedule on August 11
  • Dome-topping ceremony marked completion of construction on STP No. 1 reactor containment building on September 7

1984

  • NRC licensing board issued preliminary decision favorable to granting STP operating license on March 14
  • Houston Industries stock listed on the London Exchange, June 4

1988

  • Arkla, Inc. acquires Entex in the largest acquisition in company history

1990

  • Arkla, Inc. merged with Diversified Energies, Inc. and Minnegasco, Inc. became Minnegasco, a Division of Arkla, Inc.
  • Houston Industries acquired 32.5 percent interest in the Argentine holding company that owned 51 percent of Empresa Distribuidora La Plata (EDELAP) S.A.

1992

  • Arkla, Inc., acting through its Minnegasco division, traded its South Dakota assets for Midwest Gas Company's Minnesota assets

1993

  • Houston Industries formed the subsidiary, Houston Industries Energy Inc.
  • Arkla, Inc. and Minnegasco sold Nebraska properties to Utilicorp United, Inc.

1994

  • Arkla, Inc. shareholders approved a name change to become NorAm Energy Corp.

1995

  • NorAm Energy Services began marketing wholesale electric power nationwide. NorAm Energy Management was established for retail energy marketing and the gas gathering assets were unbundled and transferred to NorAm Field Services

1996

  • Houston Industries announced an agreement to acquire NorAm Energy Corp. in a deal valued at $3.8 billion

1997

  • Houston Industries Incorporated and NorAm Energy Corp. completed their merger on August 6 to become one of the largest integrated energy companies in the United States

1999

  • Houston Industries changed its name to Reliant Energy Inc. on February 2 and its distribution companies became Reliant Energy HL&P, Reliant Energy Entex, Reliant Energy Arkla and Reliant Energy Minnegasco 
  • Reliant Energy announced on March 9 that it would pay $900 million for a 40 percent stake in the Dutch power company, UNA, then was approved on September 8 by Dutch regulators to purchase all of UNA for a total of $2.3 billion
  • Don D. Jordan announced that after 43 years with the company he was stepping down as CEO but would remain as Chairman until Dec. 31, 2000, then on December 1 declared that he would leave the Chairman's job a year earlier on Dec. 31, 1999
  • Reliant Energy announced on December 10 that it wanted to sell its $1.2 billion stake in power plants and natural gas distribution companies in Latin America 

2000

  • Reliant Energy announced on March 10 that it was looking for buyers of its natural gas pipelines and gathering operations, Reliant Energy Minnegasco and Reliant Energy Arkla
  • Reliant Energy announced on July 27 that it planned to split its business into separate regulated and unregulated companies

2001

  • Reliant Resources, an unregulated electricity and energy services company, began trading on the New York Stock exchange on May 1
  • Reliant Energy's new name, CenterPoint Energy, was revealed on October 10
  • Special shareholder's meeting held on December 17 to approve restructuring and merger of Reliant Energy and CenterPoint Energy

2002

  • CenterPoint Energy was announced as a new holding company on January 18, with its stock symbol, CNP, due to replace Reliant Energy's REI stock symbol
  • Reliant Energy announced on July 8 that the Securities and Exchange Commission had approved Reliant Energy's separation plan, giving the company the green light to spin off Reliant Resources and officially adopt the CenterPoint Energy name
  • Reliant Energy and Reliant Resources received favorable solvency opinions from independent advisors on August 12
  • CenterPoint Energy and Reliant Resources officially separated on October 1; HL&P and Entex became CenterPoint Energy
  • CenterPoint Energy Board of Directors on December 5 approved the distribution of approximately 19 percent of Texas Genco Holdings, Inc. common stock to CenterPoint Energy shareholders

2003

  • On January 6, CenterPoint Energy, Inc. completed the distribution of approximately 19 percent of the 80 million outstanding shares of common stock of its wholly owned subsidiary, Texas Genco Holdings, Inc., to CNP shareholders. Texas Genco shares began trading on the New York Stock Exchange the next day under its new TGN symbol.
  • Sale of Argener, a cogeneration facility in San Nicolas, Argentina, announced on February 19
  • Subsidiary Texas Genco announced on March 18 that J. Evans Attwell, Donald R. Campbell, Robert J. Cruikshank, Patricia A. Hemingway Hall, Scott E. Rozzell and Gary L. Whitlock, were elected to the company's board of directors, joining David McClanahan and David Tees. 
  • CenterPoint Energy completed its strategy of exiting South America on April 4 by selling its final asset in Argentina, a 90 percent interest in Empresa Distribuidora de Electricidad de Santiago del Estero S.A. (Edese)
  • Houston Gas Operations extended service in the third week of March to its one-millionth customer, Doug Bussey Elementary School
  • On May 30, CenterPoint Energy announced that it had permanently reduced its bank credit facility to $2.846 billion since it amended its $3.85 billion credit facility on February 28, 2003
  • CenterPoint Energy announced on October 7 that it completed a refinancing of its $2.85 billion bank credit facility.  On September 9, the company and its subsidiary, CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric, LLC, issued $500 million of secured and unsecured debt, which was used to reduce the credit facility to $2.35 billion.  The company closed on a new $2.35 billion credit facility to replace the prior facility. The new three-year facility was composed of a revolving credit facility of $1.425 billion with a 12-bank syndicate and a $925 million term loan from institutional investors
  • CenterPoint Energy announced on October 24 that it had sold its remaining international asset, a 25 percent indirect interest in Rain Calcining Ltd. in Hyderabad, India, to Corbin Holdings, Inc.
  • On November 24, CenterPoint Energy announced the sale of CenterPoint Energy Management Services, LLC (CEMS), to Entergy Solutions District Energy LLC 

2004

  • On March 31, CenterPoint Energy’s electric transmission and distribution subsidiary, CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric, filed with the Public Utility Commission of Texas the final true-up application required by the 1999 Texas Electric Choice Law
  • On June 18, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that interest on stranded costs began to accrue as of January 1, 2002 and reversed the Public Utility Commission of Texas’ (PUC) rule to the contrary. The Court remanded the rule to the PUC to review the interaction between the Court's interest decision and the PUC's capacity auction true-up rule
  • On July 21, a definitive agreement was reached for the sale of Texas Genco Holdings to GC Power Acquisition LLC, an entity owned in equal parts by affiliates of The Blackstone Group, Hellman & Friedman LLC, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. and Texas Pacific Group, for approximately $3.65 billion in cash
  • On December 1, CenterPoint Energy ceased using its legacy names, Arkla, Entex, HL&P and Minnegasco, to become One Company known as CenterPoint Energy  
  • On December 15, CenterPoint Energy completed the sale of its fossil generation assets (coal, lignite and gas-fired plants) to Texas Genco LLC, formerly known as GC Power Acquisition LLC. Texas Genco LLC is owned in equal parts by affiliates of The Blackstone Group, Hellman & Friedman LLC, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. and Texas Pacific Group. In the next step of the transaction, expected to take place in the first half of 2005, the ownership interest in the South Texas Project nuclear generating facility will be sold 

2005

  • On March 7, CNP announced that it had successfully closed on three new bank facilities totaling $2.51 billion   
  • CNP announced on April 13 that it completed the final step of  the Texas Genco Holdings, Inc., transaction with the sale of the South Texas Project nuclear generating facility to Texas Genco LLC, formerly GC Power Acquisition LLC, for $700 million cash
  • On Nov. 3, the company announced that it had combined its two regulated operations – electric transmission and distribution and natural gas distribution – into a new Regulated Operations business unit
  • On Nov. 16, CenterPoint Energy Gas Transmission Company (CEGT) and Duke Energy Gas Transmission (DEGT) announced an agreement to cooperate in the evaluation, marketing and development of a proposed 250-mile pipeline connecting CEGT’s Perryville Hub to DEGT’s partially-owned affiliate pipeline, Gulfstream Natural Gas System. The pipeline's capacity would be between 700 million cubic feet per day and 1.0 billion cubic feet per day and would connect CEGT’s Perryville Hub in northeast Louisiana to an interconnect with Gulfstream

2006

  • In February, CenterPoint Energy was named by The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) to its annual list of America’s Top Corporations for Women’s Business Enterprises.
  • In March, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized CenterPoint Energy with the ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence 2006 Award for its continued leadership in protecting the environment through energy efficiency.
  • On March 31, CNP successfully closed on three new bank credit facilities totaling $2.05 billion for the parent and its wholly-owned subsidiaries, CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric, LLC (CEHE) and CenterPoint Energy Resources Corp. (CERC). The improved credit facilities reflect significantly better credit metrics.
  • On Aug. 23, Southeast Supply Header, LLC, a CenterPoint Energy/Duke Energy joint venture, announced an agreement with Florida Power and Light Company (FPL) for firm transportation service on its proposed pipeline that will bring natural gas from east Texas and north Louisiana to growing U.S. markets.
  • On October 2, CenterPoint Energy Gas Transmission Company (CEGT) received a certificate from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to build and operate a natural gas pipeline from Carthage, Texas to the company’s Perryville Hub in northeast Louisiana.

2007

  • On Feb. 1, CenterPoint Energy's board of directors declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.17 per share of common stock representing an increase of 13% in the dividend paid to shareholders.
  • On Feb. 6, 2007CenterPoint Energy and its subsidiary, CenterPoint Energy Resources Corp. closed on senior notes totaling $400 million.