CenterPoint changes policy after Montrose neighbors turned to Action 13 about giant utility poles

Pooja Lodhia Image
Thursday, April 20, 2023
Action 13 nightmare on Montrose report prompts change: CenterPoint
CenterPoint Energy said it's changing its policy after several Montrose-area residents complained about giant utility poles, and Action 13 intervened.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A major change in CenterPoint policy was placed after Action 13 exposed an absurd situation.

Earlier in April, Eyewitness News was the first to show you huge utility poles popping up right in front of homes in Montrose with no warning.

After Eyewitness News' stories aired and many of you complained, city officials and residents will now be notified about future construction.

"I feel like they just came on overnight and just put it up and didn't really care what the community had to say about it," Andy Morales, who works nearby, said. "I wish they would have done it on Westheimer, a major thoroughfare, and not in a neighborhood street."

CenterPoint is putting in several huge poles to improve transmission in Montrose.

It's part of a $43 billion, 10-year project across Houston.

You can already see more poles coming to Almeda near 288.

"Why does this have to be done in a residential area? There are so many commercial areas right here in the neighborhood. Why not put up those poles there?" Reporter Pooja Lodhia asked David Mercado, CenterPoint's VP of High Voltage and System Operations at CenterPoint Energy.

"The existing transmission line that was there was the line that we're upgrading to," he said. "It would really only make sense to build that line where it's currently at."

State law gives companies like CenterPoint the power to put up poles basically anywhere, even in the public rights of way. The company isn't legally required to notify anybody.

One pole popped up two weeks after a young couple closed on the home in Montrose.

"People still think it's the city that's allowing these utility companies to put up these poles, and that's not us," Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said. "We can't stop them."

"To be able to notify our customers of projects like this in advance is key," Mercado said. "Having them complain is not something that CenterPoint Energy wants to hear about."

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SEE ALSO: 'It's ruining the neighborhood': Massive utility pole draws attention to new home, owners tell ABC13

Montrose neighbors turn to ABC13 after a massive utility pole was installed by CenterPoint Energy in front of a home on Fairview and Park Street.