Brighton Place residents are frustrated with CenterPoint Energy, the regulated utility that supplies their power. That’s because they’re experiencing a large number of power outages throughout the year. Brighton Place is a neighborhood in the town of Spring Valley, located near Houston.
Grocery chain H-E-B complained about the outages, which they said sometimes occurred daily. The grocer explained these outages forced their stores to throw out significant quantities of spoiled food. One local resident decided to buy a backup generator to keep the lights on when the grid fails. Another resident believes an outage is why his $4,000 refrigerator broke down after four years of use.
Peter Lovie, a retired engineer, told the Houston Chronicle that he experienced at least three or four outages this year. Each outage lasted an hour or longer. As a result, he chose to invest more than $10,000 in a generator powered by natural gas.
Other residents in Brighton Place believe part of the problem is the large number of trees, which often tangle with power lines and poles. Matt Arowood, president of the local homeowners’ association, said CenterPoint has not trimmed trees close to power lines outside his home for more than six years. According to the utility, it trims trees near power lines every five years.