CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric, LLC, has signed an agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy to receive a $200 million stimulus grant for its advanced metering system and intelligent grid projects. The agreement is the culmination of negotiations that began in November 2009 after the DOE selected CenterPoint Energy as one of six utilities to receive the maximum smart grid grant under the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act.

The CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric grant application requested $150 million to accelerate its current installation of smart electric meters and associated equipment that make up its Advanced Metering System (AMS). The application also requested $50 million that will be used to begin building a self-healing Intelligent Grid that uses the AMS and other technologies to improve operational efficiency and power reliability in greater Houston.

Since March 2009, CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric has installed more than 267,000 smart meters and, with the aid of the grant, expects to complete installation of over 2 million smart meters, along with the necessary communications infrastructure and computing systems, in 2012 rather than 2014 as originally planned. The initial Intelligent Grid deployment is expected to be completed in 2013.