HOUSTON — There’s a glimmer of good news for CenterPoint Energy customers who are struggling financially right now.

CenterPoint is temporarily suspending natural gas disconnections for nonpayment. Customers who need payment assistance, arrangements or extensions during the Coronavirus crisis should call 1-800-752-8036 or visit the company’s website.

CenterPoint says customers should contact their Retail Electric Providers concerning payment assistance.

There have been reports of scams following the COVID-19 outbreak, so customers are reminded that CenterPoint Energy would never call and demand payment over the phone or by prepaid debit card to avoid disconnection.

RELATED: Map: Keeping track of Houston-area coronavirus cases

RELATED: Working from home? Here are 7 tips to help keep your electric bill down

As states continue to issue stay-at-home orders and customers are spending more time at home, energy consumption will increase beyond normal usage. To assist in lowering usage, CenterPoint Energy encourages customers to take advantage of the company’s energy efficiency tools and resources. 

Customers can also monitor the performance of the electric grid in the Texas region, including the Houston area, by visiting the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).

“We are committed to the safety and well-being of our customers, employees, contractors and communities as the Coronavirus situation continues to evolve,” said Randy Pryor, CenterPoint Energy’s vice president of Distribution Operations.

RELATED: Houston now offering free Curbside Meal Program for children, teens

RELATED: City of Houston municipal courts suspends all jury duty, trials, hearings

CenterPoint Energy’s natural gas and electric crews will continue to provide service by responding to calls and completing work orders. There are a number of system projects that will continue to be worked, and the disruption to customers during those times will be minimal.

If you see CenterPoint Energy crews performing work, please avoid approaching them and continue to practice social distancing.

CenterPoint Energy has implemented additional measures to protect the safety and health of its customers, employees and contractors, as well as to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. These safety measures include:

  • Equipping employees with additional personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Directing field employees to attempt to resolve service issues without entering homes or businesses
  • Following social distancing guidelines and wearing PPE if entering customers’ homes, businesses and property to provide service
  • Implementing a telework approach for employees who can perform their job responsibilities from home or a remote location
  • Increasing cleaning and disinfecting frequency of facilities and vehicles
  • Leveraging technology to minimize face-to-face contact and meetings
  • Emphasizing good hygiene, including washing and sanitizing hands