HOUSTON – While the temperatures dropped on a bitterly cold Monday night, frustration rose with residents asking why the lights inside office buildings in downtown Houston were still on as so many homes and apartments remain without electricity.
Here’s what Houstonians are saying on social media:
Ok so we lowered our a/c and kept the minimum usage of electricity all day long because we feel so lucky to have it! But why downtown Houston empty office buildings lit up like nothing is happening? pic.twitter.com/mQ1Vbw6uZB— anna veselova (@bravolesfilles) February 16, 2021
Hey @ERCOT_ISO can we not sacrifice these lit up empty office buildings in downtown #houston and restore a residential section of the grid instead? People are literally freezing inside their homes all over the city pic.twitter.com/9NMUECOq4N— Kim (@kimisnotamused) February 16, 2021
I’ll just leave this picture of downtown Houston right here... pic.twitter.com/EcGjpXuH1D— Michael Starkey (@starkalark86) February 16, 2021
Meanwhile downtown Houston is lit up like it’s Christmas pic.twitter.com/qnr6hoTF3C— Osito Brigante (@JoseOsa) February 16, 2021
“Why does downtown Houston still have all the lights on? We are told save energy but downtown is all lit up?” Leslie Nollsch posted on the KPRC 2 Facebook page.
“... why millions are without power but downtown is lit up like a Christmas tree.......” William Tischina posted on KPRC 2 Facebook page.
“Rolling outages. Freezing families in the 6th ward. Yet look at downtown,” emailed a KPRC 2 viewer.
“Why is downtown lit up when people are told to conserve power… Unacceptable!” said another KPRC 2 viewer.
KPRC 2 was able to grab a photo of downtown Houston:
Similar questions were raised in Dallas Sunday night and by Monday evening, the lights were dimmed:
Thank you to our partners at @DtownDallasInc for requesting that our downtown buildings turn off their external lights tonight. I love our skyline at night, but we all need to do our parts to conserve energy.— Mayor Eric Johnson (@Johnson4Dallas) February 15, 2021
When Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner was asked about the question at hand, his office responded with the following:
“Mayor Turner has throughout the day asked people to conserve energy because of the power outages. He had mentioned it in tweets, Zoom interviews and during his news conference. He has been in contact with CenterPoint Energy and others urging them to restore power to Houstonians as soon as possible. CenterPoint has assured the mayor that it is asking its major providers to conserve energy. The mayor encourages everyone to do their share to help during the extreme winter weather.”
The Downtown District said in a tweet Tuesday that they are asking all of the properties in downtown Houston to do everything possible to reduce power demand.
On behalf of @SylvesterTurner, @HarrisCoJudge, the Downtown District has made an urgent request of DT properties to do everything possible to reduce power demand & only support essential services. We appreciate the DT community working together to minimize electrical consumption.— Downtown Houston (@DowntownHouston) February 16, 2021