I posted this on another website that I frequently write on and wanted to share it here also.
Hurricane Ike was only a Category 2 Storm. Yes it caused a lot of damage, I’m not downplaying that. But it could have been a lot worse. To date there are still nearly 500,000 people without power in the Houston area, a full 2 Weeks after the Storm.
On top of that Centerpoint Energy, the company that owns and maintains a Majority of the Lines in and around Houston announced that they were going to charge Homeowners, Renters, anyone who has Electricity $3.50 per 1,000 kwh a month to repair what was broken.
That is not bad. I will not feel that $3.50 a month as most Homeowners won’t. BUT that is for 15 years! Let that soak in for a minute. 15 Years. It was just 3 years ago that we had this SAME problem with Hurricane Rita that was not even as Big of a Storm as Ike was. So what happens when another storm rolls through? What then?
I think this is absurd. Why? Why are we going to pay to repair and have MORE overhead power lines surrounded by trees that fall in the wind and storms, get struck by lightning and take Power Lines down with them. WE ARE IN A HURRICANE PRONE AREA!
Here is the Math behind the Rate Hike:
Everyone pays a MINIMUM of $3.50 a month
Atleast 2.58 Million Customers affected according to recent numbers released in the media
Equals a MINIMUM of atleast $9,030,000 each month
Which over 15 years Equals, well, too much money
So here is my request to Centerpoint Energy. I think it makes sense.
Dear Centerpoint Energy, please- instead of adding a measley $3.50 per 1,000 kwh used to my bill every month please add $10. Heck, make it $20! But here is what I ask that you do with it.
Go ahead and repair what is broken. However please do not build more poor infrastructure that is so incredibly susceptible to Hurricane and Tropical Storm weather. Instead offer incentives for Homeowners to go Solar. A simple 2kw system on a Rooftop would run almost everything in an average home. It would run a Refrigerator, Fans, Lights, Television….everything but your HVAC system. Oh, WOW! That is what people are paying $50-$60 a day right now to run on a Generator!?! By the time you pay $500 for a generator, add $60 a day for gas to run it Homeowners have incurred Well over $1,000 already because of our lines to be taken out. The residents in and around Houston are the ones that pay you to be in business. Without us, you would not exist. Not that it is really relevant, just a reminder.
If you need more reasons why this should be a no brainer, here ya go:
- Solar power is produced MOST when your Grid is the weakest. Smack in the middle of the day. That is when Houstonians crank down their A/C to stay cool, Refrigerators work harder to stay at temperature, etc. You would likely not have to build MORE Grids.
- From the looks of the media right now, your Customer Complaints are at an all time HIGH. Just imagine what it would be like with a little Solar on every roof. A whole heck of a lot less.
- Solar Panels sustain Hurricane Force winds, unlike overhead power lines.
- With Solar Thermal Hot Water we could still have Hot Water during outages.
- I could even install a Solar Power HVAC system!
- Rates are still going….UP Power is NOT getting CHEAPER- That means your costs also.
Why would we charge everyone, including renters, $10 a month per 1,000 kwh used? Don’t. Keep the hike at $3.50 for Renters and make it $10 a month for Homeowners. You already ask whether or not people rent or own, right? That’s reasonable. Atleast in my mind.
My point is, Hurricane Ike could have been a Category 5 and it is likely that we would still have 1.5 million people without power right now. How does atleast $9 Million a month justify putting us back in that same, highly vulnerable position?
Incentives for us to go Solar, this really should be a No Brainer. Thanks.