At-Large City Council Member and candidate for Mayor Peter Brown today unveiled his Energy Blueprint to deliver reliable, efficient, and affordable electricity to Houston, and hold utility companies accountable. Standing below a series of unmaintained power lines, and joined by Houston residents frustrated by the lack of action and high electricity prices, Brown called for increased accountability and transparency from CenterPoint and other utility companies.
Pedro Diaz, a local small businessman who joined Brown at the event, said the high cost of electricity is “choking businesses here in Houston.”
“It’s tough to survive, let alone expand, when I’m paying $3,000 to the utility company every single month,” said Diaz.
Brown, himself a small business owner for more than thirty years, called for more effective city policies to protect consumers. “We need a different approach, focused on protecting taxpayers, consumers and businesses,” said Brown. “We need to hold utilities accountable for better service, work to lower rates, and improve our electric distribution and production.”
Councilman Brown’s plan, “Keep Us Powered: An Energy Blueprint For An Even Better Houston” has three main elements:
Stand Up for Greater Accountability and Lower Utility Rates for Houston. When Peter Brown is Mayor, he’ll stand up and demand accountability, reliable service, and lower electric rates for Houston. Utilities must provide more transparent documentation of their efforts, and should provide a comprehensive audit any time they want to raise rates. The City should use its leverage to get a better deal for consumers, while exploring creative ways to lower monthly electric bills.
Make Our Electricity Infrastructure Reliable and Ready, Now. It’s time to make the common sense, cost-effective investments necessary to protect Houston and keep us ready. Peter Brown will work to implement viable recommendations from Mayor White’s Task Force on Electric Service Reliability. He’ll secure funding to make the necessary changes to our infrastructure to keep it ready and reliable. And he’ll apply new, innovative technologies that empower residents to alert the City of poorly maintained infrastructure.
Build the New Energy Infrastructure We Need to Power Our Future. As we protect and prepare our grid, we’ve also got to modernize it. First, we need to accelerate deployment of smart meters, so more consumers can benefit from these technologies, sooner. We should provide incentives for businesses and homeowners to invest in renewable technologies. We also should expand support for energy efficient and LEED certified construction, and do more to promote energy efficiency for those in affordable housing programs. And City government should continue leading by example, with energy-efficient investments and expanded use of renewable energy.
To view the entire Energy Blueprint click HERE.
Brown’s call for greater accountability from CenterPoint was echoed by local resident Kathy Saccone, who complained of outrageously high monthly energy bills.
“We pay way too much for what we get from our electrical companies, and they really don’t do enough,” said Saccone. “If we’re going to be paying this much for electricity, we should be making sure we get exactly what we pay for.”
Brown’s advocacy in the wake of Hurricane Ike last year led to the creation of Mayor White’s Task Force on Electric Service Reliability. Having dealt with energy issues extensively as Chair of the Sustainable Growth Committee, Brown built on his experience and record of results with the release of his new plan.
“We need a reliable, efficient, and effective energy infrastructure to keep our citizens safe and our economy strong,” said Brown. “The energy capital of the world should be able to get this right. And when I’m Mayor, we will.”