Taking care of your Loved One Is What We Do BEST!

It's no secret, most of us would like to stay in our own home as we age. Yet, sometimes our loved ones just need a little extra help to remain comfortable at home. That's where Always Best Care can help....we are dedicated to exceeding expectations....always

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Home Care In Center Point, TX

Home Care Center Point, TX

They say that your golden years are the best years of your life. For most older Americans, that's how it should be - a time to relax, reflect, and live life in a familiar place. After all, senior citizens in the U.S. have worked tirelessly to build a better economy, serve their communities, and raise families.

However, as seniors grow older, completing daily tasks like showering and enjoying activities such as visiting the historic Center Point Museum gets harder without someone by their side. Unfortunately, many older Americans aren't able to rely on their adult children for help. The reality in today's world is that family members do not have the skills or time to dedicate to caring for their parents. That's where Always Best Care Senior Services comes in.

Our in-home care services are for people who prefer to stay at home as they grow older but need ongoing care that family or friends cannot provide. More and more older adults prefer to live far away from long-term, institutionalized facilities and closer to the place where they feel most comfortable - their home. Home care in Center Point, TX is a safe, effective way to give your loved ones the care they need when they need it the most.

 In-Home Care Center Point, TX

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The Always Best Care Difference

Since 1996, Always Best Care has provided non-medical in-home care for seniors to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle as they get older. We are proud to have helped more than 25,000 seniors maintain higher levels of dignity and respect. We focus on providing seniors with the highest level of in-home care available so that they may live happily and independently.

Unlike some senior care companies, we genuinely want to be included in our clients' lives. We believe that personalized care is always the better option over a "one size fits all" approach. To make sure our senior clients receive the best care possible, we pair them with compassionate caregivers who understand their unique needs. That way, they may provide care accordingly without compromising their wellbeing.

The Always Best Care difference lies in life's little moments - where compassionate care and trustworthy experience come together to help seniors live a fruitful, healthy life. Whether you are an aging adult that can't quite keep up with life's daily tasks or the child of a senior who needs regular in-home services, Always Best Care is here to help.


“I work for this team and it's a wonderful team , great communication and support for our clients, their family members and our caring team of staff .”

Antoinette G.

“Ken and Bonnie are wonderful people to help care for your loved ones. their staff was so caring to my mother and so nice to my family I highly recommend them to take care of your loved ones. I think there ought to be more than just five stars to give them”

Mark A.

“Ken and Bonnie were wonderful to work with. They were able to provide my mother with care and a very short notice. Their staff was some of the most caring people that I've ever met. Not only were they wonderful to my mother but also to my family. I would highly recommend using them.”

Mark A.

“Very professional and welcoming people so I would definitely recommend my friends and family to Always Best Care in Boerne.”

Laurie K.

“The owner is so understanding and supportive of how I want my loved ones cared for. He and his staff actually listen to what I would like done for my parents. Very thoughtful, very professional and very caring. It’s such a relief to have help in caring for my loved ones”

Kristen B.

“ALWAYS BEST CARE is certainly a warm & caring business owned & operated by Ken Thomas. I certainly would recommend them for you or your loved ones excellent care.”

Shirley S.

“Kenneth is kind, patient, experienced and knowledgeable. We are thankful to him for all his efforts and for going above and beyond.”

Chae S.

“For those who are searching for qualified caregivers for their loved ones, contact Ken Thomas at Always Best Care Senior Services. Mr. Thomas provides an authentic and professional guiding hand when discussing available services for your precious senior family members. When it is time for a beloved senior to receive assistance, Mr. Thomas understands the importance of providing trustworthy and quality support.”

Melissa C.

“Ken leads his Always Best Care Senior Services Agency with compassion for his clients and their families. He is a local senior care expert and leader in his community. If you are need of assistance in navigating your local senior care options, then do not hesitate to give Ken a call!”

Kelly B.

“Kenneth is knowledgeable and trustworthy. I can’t recommend him enough. You’re in good hands with Kenneth.”

Chae S.

“I will be forever grateful for the love you showered upon us and my grandmother”

Jill &.

What is Non-Medical Senior Care in Center Point, TX?


Home is where the heart is. While that saying can sound a tad cliche, it is especially true for many seniors living in America. When given a choice, older adults most often prefer to grow older at home. An AARP study found that three out of four adults over the age of 50 want to stay in their homes and communities as they age.


When you begin to think about why, it makes sense. Home offers a sense of security, comfort, and familiarity.


The truth is, as we age, we begin to rely on others for help. When a family is too busy or lives too far away to fulfill this role, in-home senior care is often the best solution. Home care services allow seniors to enjoy personal independence while also receiving trustworthy assistance from a trained caregiver.


At Always Best Care, we offer a comprehensive range of home care services to help seniors stay healthy while they get the help they need to remain independent. As your senior loved one gets older, giving them the gift of senior care is one of the best ways to show your love, even if you live far away.

 Senior Care Center Point, TX

Types of Elderly Care in Center Point, TX

To give our senior clients the best care possible, we offer a full spectrum of in-home care services:

Personal Care

Personal Care Services

If your senior loved one has specific care needs, our personal care services are a great choice to consider. Personal care includes the standard caregiving duties associated with companion care and includes help with tasks such as dressing and grooming. Personal care can also help individuals with chronic conditions like diabetes.

Common personal care services include assistance with:

  • Eating
  • Mobility Issues
  • Incontinence
  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Grooming

Respite Care Center Point, TX
Home Helper

Home Helper Services

Sometimes, seniors need helpful reminders to maintain a high quality of life at home. If you or your senior has trouble with everyday tasks like cooking, our home helper services will be very beneficial.

Common home helper care services include assistance with:

  • Medication Reminders
  • Meal Preparation
  • Pet Care
  • Prescription Refills
  • Morning Wake-Up
  • Walking
  • Reading
 Caregivers Center Point, TX
Companionship Services

Companionship Services

Using this kind of care is a fantastic way to make life easier for you or your senior loved one. At Always Best Care, our talented caregivers often fill the role of a companion for seniors. That way, older adults can enjoy their favorite local activities, such as visiting CenterPoint Trail with friends while also receiving the care they need daily or weekly.

Common companionship services include:

  • Grocery Shopping
  • Transportation to Appointments
  • Nutritional Assistance
  • Conversation
  • Planning Outings
  • Completing Errands
  • Transportation to Community
  • Events and Social Outings
Home Care Center Point, TX
Respite Care

Respite Care Services

According to AARP, more than 53 million adults living in the U.S. provide care to someone over 50 years old. Unfortunately, these caregivers experience stress, exhaustion, and even depression. Our respite care services help family caregivers address urgent obligations, spend time with their children, and enjoy nearby activities. Perhaps more importantly, respite care gives family members time to recharge and regroup. Taking personal time to de-stress reduces the risk of caregiver burnout. So, if you've always wanted to eat at the local Los Dos Amigos or visit Fort McKavett State Historic Site, don't feel bad. Doing so is great for both you and your loved one.

At the end of the day, our goal is to become a valuable part of your senior's daily routine. That way, we may help give them the highest quality of life possible. We know that staying at home is important for your loved one, and we are here to help make sure that is possible.

If you have been on the fence about non-medical home care, there has never been a better time than now to give your senior the care, assistance, and companionship they deserve.

 In-Home Care Center Point, TX

Benefits of Home Care in Center Point, TX

Always Best Care in-home services are for older adults who prefer to stay at home but need ongoing care that friends and family cannot provide. In-home care is a safe, effective way for seniors to age gracefully in a familiar place and live independent, non-institutionalized lives. The benefits of non-medical home care are numerous. Here are just a few reasons to consider senior care services from Always Best Care:

Always Best Care offers a full array of care options for patients at all levels of health. With our trusted elderly care services, your loved one will receive the level of care necessary for them to enjoy the highest possible quality of life.

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Aging in Place: The Preferred Choice for Most Seniors

While it's true that some seniors have complicated medical needs that prevent them from staying at home, aging in place is often the best arrangement for seniors and their families. With a trusted caregiver, seniors have the opportunity to live with a sense of dignity and do so as they see fit - something that is unavailable to many older people today.

In-home care makes it possible for millions of seniors to age in place every year. Rather than moving to a strange nursing home, seniors have the chance to stay at home where they feel the happiest and most comfortable.

Here are just a few of the reasons why older men and women prefer to age at home:

How much does a senior's home truly mean to them?

A study published by the American Society on Aging found that more than half of seniors say their home's emotional value means more than how much their home is worth in monetary value. It stands to reason, then, that a senior's home is where they want to grow old.

With the help of elderly care in Center Point, TX, seniors don't have to age in a sterilized care facility. Instead, they can age gracefully in the place they want to be most: their home. In contrast, seniors who move to a long-term care facility must adapt to new environments, new people, and new systems that the facility implements. At this stage in life, this kind of drastic change can be more harmful than helpful.

Institutional care facilities like nursing homes often put large groups of people together to live in one location. On any given day, dozens of staff members and caregivers run in and out of these facilities. Being around so many new people in a relatively small living environment can be dangerous for a seniors' health and wellbeing. When you consider that thousands of seniors passed away in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, opting for in-home care is often a safer, healthier choice for seniors.

Aging in place has been shown to improve seniors' quality of life, which helps boost physical health and also helps insulate them from viral and bacterial risks found in elderly living facilities.

For many seniors, the ability to live independently with assistance from a caregiver is a priceless option. With in-home care, seniors experience a higher level of independence and freedom - much more so than in other settings like a nursing home. When a senior has the chance to age in place, they get to live life on their own terms, inside the house that they helped make into a home. More independence means more control over their personal lives, too, which leads to increased levels of fulfillment, happiness, and personal gratification. Over time, these positive feelings can manifest into a healthier, longer life.

More independence, a healthier life, and increased comfort are only a few benefits of aging in place. You have to take into consideration the role of cost and convenience. Simply put, it's usually easier and more affordable to help seniors age in place than it is to move them into an institutional care facility. According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, seniors who age in the comfort of their homes can save thousands of dollars per month.

In-home care services from Always Best Care, for instance, are often less expensive than long-term solutions, which can cost upwards of six figures per year. To make matters worse, many residential care facilities are reluctant to accept long-term care insurance and other types of payment assistance.

With Always Best Care's home care services, seniors and their families have a greater level of control over their care plans. In-home care gives seniors the chance to form a bond with a trusted caregiver and also receive unmatched care that is catered to their needs. In long-term care facilities, seniors and their loved ones have much less control over their care plan and have less of a say in who provides their care.

 Elderly Care Center Point, TX

Affordable Care

In-home care is a valuable resource that empowers seniors to age in place on their own terms. However, a big concern for many families and their loved ones is how much in-home care costs. If you're worried that in-home care is too expensive, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that it is one of the most affordable senior care arrangements available.

Typically, hiring an Always Best Care in-home caregiver for a few hours a week is more affordable than sending your loved one to a long-term care facility. This is true even for seniors with more complex care needs.

At Always Best Care, we will work closely with you and your family to develop a Care Plan that not only meets your care needs, but your budget requirements, too. Once we discover the level of care that you or your senior need, we develop an in-home care plan that you can afford.

In addition to our flexible care options, families should also consider the following resources to help offset potential home care costs:

If your loved one qualifies, Medicaid may help reduce in-home care costs. Review your TX's Medicaid program laws and benefits, and make sure your senior's financial and medical needs meet Medicaid eligibility requirements.
Attendance and aid benefits through military service can cover a portion of the costs associated with in-home care for veterans and their spouses.
Many senior care services like in-home care are included in long-term care insurance options. Research different long-term care solutions to find a plan that provides coverage for senior care.
Home care can be included as part of a senior's private insurance plan. Read over your loved one's insurance policy carefully or speak with their insurance provider to determine if in-home care is covered.
Depending on the life insurance plan, you may be able to apply your policy toward long-term care. You may be able to use long-term-care coverage to help pay for in-home elderly care.
 Senior Care Center Point, TX

Compassionate Care. Trusted Caregivers.

When you or your senior loved one needs assistance managing daily tasks at home, finding a qualified caregiver can be challenging. It takes a special kind of person to provide reliable care for your senior loved one. However, a caregiver's role involves more than meal preparation and medication reminders. Many seniors rely on their caregivers for companionship, too.

Our companion care services give seniors the chance to socialize in a safe environment and engage in activities at home. These important efforts boost morale and provide much-needed relief from repetitive daily routines. A one-on-one, engaging conversation can sharpen seniors' minds and give them something in which to be excited.

At Always Best Care, we only hire care providers that we would trust to care for our own loved ones. Our senior caregivers in Center Point, TX understand how important it is to listen and communicate with their seniors. A seemingly small interaction, like a short hug goodbye, can make a major difference in a senior's day. Instead of battling against feelings of isolation, seniors begin to look forward to seeing their caregiver each week.

Understanding the nuances of senior care is just one of the reasons why our care providers are so great at their job.

Unlike some senior care companies, our caregivers must undergo extensive training before they work for Always Best Care. In addition, our caregivers receive ongoing training throughout the year. This training ensures that their standard of care matches up to the high standards we've come to expect. During this training, they will brush up on their communication skills, safety awareness, and symptom spotting. That way, your loved one receives the highest level of non-medical home care from day one.

Assisted Living Referral Services

While it's true that many seniors prefer to age at home, sometimes in-home care isn't the best fit. For those seniors and their families, choosing an assisted living facility makes more sense. Unfortunately, finding the optimal care facility is easier said than done in today's day and age. That's when Always Best Care's assisted living referral services begin to make a lot of sense.

Assisted living is a form of housing intended for seniors who require varying degrees of medical and personal attention. Accommodations may include single rooms, apartments, or shared living arrangements. Assisted living communities are typically designed to resemble a home-like environment and are physically constructed to encourage the independence of residents.

Respite Care Center Point, TX

At assisted living communities, seniors receive help with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, and eating. They may also benefit from coordination of services with outside healthcare providers, and monitoring of resident activities to ensure their health, safety, and well-being. Caregivers who work at assisted living communities can also provide medication administration and personal care services for older adults.

Other services offered within assisted living communities can include some or all of the following:

  • Housekeeping
  • Laundry
  • Recreational Activities
  • Social Outings
  • Emergency Medical Response
  • Medication Monitoring
  • Family Visitation
  • Personal Care
 Caregivers Center Point, TX

At Always Best Care, our representatives can match your senior's emotional, physical, and financial needs with viable assisted living communities nearby. Results are based on comparative data, so you can select the best choice for you or your loved one.

Always Best Care works closely with local senior living communities to gain valuable knowledge that we then use to help seniors and their loved ones make informed decisions. This information can include basic care and rent, resident availability, and services provided. Because Always Best Care is compensated by these communities, we provide senior living referral services at no extra cost to you.

Some of the most popular assisted living communities to consider in our area include the following:

  • Serenity Pointe Assisted Living
  • River Point of Kerrville
  • The Pointe Nursing & Rehab Center [Senior Care Centers]
  • The Springs Memory Care
  • Poet's Walk, A Memory Care Community
  • Pecan Point Assisted Living and Memory Care
Home Care Center Point, TX

For many seniors, moving into a senior living community revolves around how and when they want to make a transition to more involved care. Some seniors are more proactive about transitioning to independent living. Others choose to remain home until their care needs or other requirements are satisfied. Remember - our staff is here to help. Contact our office today to learn more about assisted living communities and how we can find a facility that exceeds your expectations.

 In-Home Care Center Point, TX

Taking the First Step with Always Best Care

The first step in getting quality in-home care starts with a personal consultation with an experienced Always Best Care Care Coordinator. This initial consultation is crucial for our team to learn more about you or your elderly loved one to discover the level of care required. Topics of this consultation typically include:

A discussion of your needs and how our trained caregivers can offer assistance in the most effective way


A draft of your care plan, which includes highly detailed notes and a framework for the care that you or your senior will receive


Discuss payment options and help coordinate billing with your insurance provider


Our caregivers are trained to spot changes that clients exhibit, like mental and physical decline. As your trusted senior care company, we will constantly assess and update your Care Plan to meet any new emotional, intellectual, physical, and emotional needs.

If you have never considered in-home care before, we understand that you and your family may have concerns about your Care Plan and its Care Coordinator. To help give you peace of mind, know that every team member and caregiver must undergo comprehensive training before being assigned to a Care Plan.

At the end of the day, we only hire the best of the best at Always Best Care. Whether you need home care in Center Point, TX 24-hours a day or only need a respite for a couple of hours, we are here to serve you.

When you're ready, we encourage you to contact your local Always Best Care representative to set up a Care Consultation. Our Care Coordinators would be happy to meet with you in person to get to know you better, discuss your needs, and help put together a personalized Care Plan specific to your needs.

 Elderly Care Center Point, TX

Latest News in Center Point, TX

3 Things You Didn’t Know About Center Point, Texas

In the middle of Kerr County there is a quaint Texas town with a very appropriate name: Center Point, Texas. Primarily known as a getaway retreat and a hub for small manufacturing, the community has a colorful history to go along with its breathtaking scenery. Here are a few more things you might not know.1. It Was Originally Named ZanzenburgPhoto: ...

In the middle of Kerr County there is a quaint Texas town with a very appropriate name: Center Point, Texas. Primarily known as a getaway retreat and a hub for small manufacturing, the community has a colorful history to go along with its breathtaking scenery. Here are a few more things you might not know.

1. It Was Originally Named Zanzenburg

Photo: Flickr/Charlie McRae

When Dr. Charles Ganahl founded the town by opening and operating the post office out of his home, he thought of paying homage to his ancestral homeland and thus named the town Zanzenburg. As the area grew, with many residents migrating in from Tennessee, the post office was moved to a more central location and a community building was built. Because of the central location, the name was changed.

2. It Is Located Between Two Major Centers of Trade

Photo: Flickr/Bob Nelson

Another reason the community retained its name was also due to its location between two major centers of trade: Comfort and Kerrville. While Comfort and Kerrville were both bigger trade centers, Zanzenburg/Center Point established itself as a middle man between the two communities, providing essential trade necessities to both operations, and providing a good stopping point for businessmen travelling between the two.

3. Is One of the Largest Unincorporated Communities in Texas

Photo: Flickr/Richard Childress

As the community grew, citizens attempted to incorporate the town and become an official municipality. It seemed the only logical move. The first attempt was in 1913. Citizens voted. A mayor, city clerk, and health commissioner were appointed. Later that year, citizens voted to dissolve the incorporation. However, it’s said that the results of the referendum were not officially recorded and so the city continued to exist with the commission seats vacant. Fast forward to the mid-1990s: the people of Center Point successfully petitioned to hold an election to fill three seats on the city commission that the county attorney had deemed vacant, and they so reactivated the commission and the city. This hardy and welcoming Hill Country community is active today.

No Place Like Dave’s Place

It’s a typical Sunday afternoon at a most atypical Texas Hill Country haunt—Dave’s Place in Center Point. An eclectic clientele of bikers, couples, tourists, and families has gathered to watch sports on TV, chow down on burgers and barbecue, sip cold beer, and wander through this funky hangout overlooking the Guadalupe River. Out front, rabbits scamper through the grass and a lone peacock struts about, preening its rainbow plumage before fluttering onto the metal roof.Proprietor David John eyes the unfolding scene fr...

It’s a typical Sunday afternoon at a most atypical Texas Hill Country haunt—Dave’s Place in Center Point. An eclectic clientele of bikers, couples, tourists, and families has gathered to watch sports on TV, chow down on burgers and barbecue, sip cold beer, and wander through this funky hangout overlooking the Guadalupe River. Out front, rabbits scamper through the grass and a lone peacock struts about, preening its rainbow plumage before fluttering onto the metal roof.

Proprietor David John eyes the unfolding scene from a high-backed bar stool in the corner, exhorting new arrivals to “come on in, get a beer, and look around.” With thinning white hair and full beard framing a weathered, tanned visage, David looks like a wayward seafarer on shore leave.

The scent of oak-and-mesquite-smoked ribs, chicken, and brisket wafts in from the blackened smoker in the nearby courtyard. Back in the kitchen, David’s wife, Shelley, flips burgers and keeps the fryer busy with onion rings, sweet-potato fries, catfish, frog legs and shrimp, and an array of veggies.

A small sign in front of Dave’s Place advertises not only David’s Backdoor Pottery shop and Shelley’s catering business, but also “beer and ice, food, live bait, tube rentals, a bird aviary, a botanical garden, and wheel-thrown pottery and casting classes.” But that only skims the surface of what you’ll find here. What started as a modest, wood-frame studio and greenhouse has morphed into a rambling retreat.

Today’s visitor can wander from the front patio and restaurant area into the enclosed botanical gardens, peruse a row of outdoor cages populated by more than 100 different kinds of birds, including colorful macaws, chickens, and pigeons, and continue out back to the jukebox/pool-table room, shaded hillside decks, and stairs leading to the riverbank.

When Shelley began cooking at Dave’s Place, she expanded the menu and added daily specials like grilled rib eye, shrimp, English-style fish and chips, and pizzas featuring fresh ingredients.

What butters my bun at Dave’s is the chance to build my own burger. Choosing from a sideboard of fixin’s—ripe tomatoes, crisp lettuce, thinly-sliced sweet onions, and assorted condiments—I build my personal, all-star burger atop a lightly seasoned, griddle-cooked patty. The fries prove crisp and non-greasy, just as I like ’em.

On Sundays—barbecue time at Dave’s—I opt for a plate of succulent brisket and fall-off-the-bone baby back ribs served with well-prepared, not-overly-doctored potato salad and pinto beans.

Another visit finds me pigging out on a bison burger accompanied by sweet-potato fries. While the burger proves satisfying, it’s the semisweet, pumpkin-colored fries that carry the day.

“My intent was to have a little place where I could throw my pottery and sell a few beers because you can’t be artistic without people,” David confides. “If you don’t interact with people, you lose focus!”

In the past year, John has expanded his offerings to include a hot tub room with a deck overlooking the river, and bed & breakfast accommodations for those who wish to extend their stay. Occasionally on a Saturday night, Dave’s Place features live music. Stairs lead to the riverbank below, and a multilevel deck offers a fine sunset view.

Dave’s Place rents tubes for $8 a day, but it’s free to go swimming or fishing on the property, tour the botanical hothouse and grounds, or watch the sun set over the Guadalupe.

As the evening winds down, a group from Boerne who had spent the afternoon floating the Guadalupe, strolls through, all smiles.

”We drank some cold beer, floated for four hours, and ended up here for dinner;’ says one of the group, with a wide grin. ”What better day can you have than that?”

From the August 2009 issue

CenterPoint customers to see rate hike as utility recovers $200M spent on emergency generation

Electricity customers in Houston are about to see their bills increase after the state Public Utility Commission gave a green light for CenterPoint to increase its rates.The increase comes as CenterPoint seeks to recoup $200 million in costs...

Electricity customers in Houston are about to see their bills increase after the state Public Utility Commission gave a green light for CenterPoint to increase its rates.

The increase comes as CenterPoint seeks to recoup $200 million in costs it incurred to to lease mobile generators which could produce 500 megawatts of emergency power during peak periods of demand. It was allowed to seek the rate increase in part because it backed a change in state law after the deadly blackouts in February 2021, and the prospect of the increase has raised hackles among consumer advocates.

Prior to the winter freeze in 2021, regulated transmission and distribution companies like CenterPoint were barred by Texas law from owning any power generation in the state. After the event, CenterPoint was among those that lobbied the legislature to pass a bill allowing transmission and distribution companies to lease and operate emergency power generation equipment. That law went into effect in September 2021.

RELATED: What to know about CenterPoint’s coming rate increase

With the law in place, CenterPoint asked the state’s Public Utility Commission to approve an increase to allow it to recover a number of costs, including those for the mobile generators.

It’s among the first cases in which the PUC has considered emergency generation in a transmission and distribution company’s rate base, the fixed monthly fee passed onto customers, and it gave the verbal OK in an open meeting on March 9. Commissioners are expected to sign the final order in the coming weeks.

Sandra Haverlah, president of the nonprofit advocacy group Texas Consumer Alliance, said every time a utility adds a cost to the rate base, there should be robust public engagement and significant analysis of alternatives, and CenterPoint’s lease of emergency mobile generators didn’t meet those standards.

RELATED: CenterPoint Energy to spend $200M to boost electricity infrastructure in Texas Medical Center

“This is a very questionable purchase by CenterPoint,” Haverlah said, “And to load it onto the consumers in their territory without a process where people could have feedback about the necessity of the item is pretty bold on the part of CenterPoint – and disappointing that the PUC has agreed to it.”

Under the law, CenterPoint is able to recover the cost of leasing and operating the emergency generation units, as well as 6.5 percent return on every dollar it spends on leasing, operating and maintaining the units.

Jason Ryan, the company’s executive vice president of regulatory services and government affairs, said the company worked with PUC staff to spread out the cost of the mobile generators over time so it would represent less than a $1 dollar increase of the rate base on monthly bills.

But consumer advocates said Texas utilities have been layering on costs gradually that add up to significant increases in bills for customers.

In September, CenterPoint began charging residential ratepayers on average an additional $11.45 per month for transmission and distribution costs. The fixed portion of the bill, which is separate from the per-kilowatt rate chosen through a retail electricity plan, now makes up around 40 percent of a customer's bill – a 10 percent jump from when the state’s electricity market design went into effect in 2002, according to state data.

Concerns were raised about the CenterPoint deal as soon as the company included it in the cost recovery request to the PUC in April of last year, but mostly through filings from trade groups and others who watch the electricity market closely. Haverlah said there’s a very slim window for the public to make comments, and it’s challenging for consumers to learn how that process even works.

Shortly after receiving the request, the PUC sent the case for review by an administrative hearing judge, who said the mobile generation units should not be included among costs that go into ratepayer bills. But the PUC is not bound to accept the judge’s opinion, and when the case was returned to it in January and discussed at its March meeting, commissioners voted to amend the judge's order and include the units.

RELATED: CenterPoint natural gas bills doubled since last year. Here's why.

Of the five PUC members, who are appointed by the governor, Commissioner James Glotfelty voted against the order.

“I think it was an easy way to put a couple hundred million dollars in the rate base and get recovery for it,” Glotfelty said. “And I think that's not in the best interest of consumers in the long run.”

The mobile units are meant to be used in emergencies, when customers are in jeopardy of going days without power because of an intense weather event, CenterPoint’s Ryan said.

Haverlah, with the Texas Consumer Association, said most Texans support increasing electricity reliability in the face of storms, but that CenterPoint rushed to purchase these units instead of engaging customers in the process. Now consumers will be paying for the units for years.

Ryan said he advocated for the law to allow companies like CenterPoint to own emergency mobile generation because it gives utilities another tool to guard against deadly power outages.

The company leased the units immediately after the law was signed, he said. “Nobody would have been impressed if that law had passed and we didn't have the assets, and a major event happened and we weren't ready.”

[email protected]

March 17, 2023

Former Energy Reporter

Kyra Buckley was an energy reporter for the Houston Chronicle.

Before joining the Chronicle’s business desk in April 2022, Kyra covered energy at Houston Public Media for two years. She previously worked at NPR member stations in Colorado and Oregon, and is a 2015 graduate from the University of Oregon in journalism and political science.

'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.HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- After months of searching for the perfect home, a homeowner in Montrose was excited to finally move into her first home with her husband -- that is, until a massive utility pole was placed almost directly in front of their house just two weeks after closing.The massive pole is part of an ongoing project to upgrade transmission structures and enhance resiliency ...

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.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- After months of searching for the perfect home, a homeowner in Montrose was excited to finally move into her first home with her husband -- that is, until a massive utility pole was placed almost directly in front of their house just two weeks after closing.

The massive pole is part of an ongoing project to upgrade transmission structures and enhance resiliency in the Montrose area, according to CenterPoint Energy.

However, residents do not understand why the giant poles have to be placed so close to their homes.

SEE ALSO: 5G towers appearing around Houston area has residents asking questions

"We saved a lot for this house and put a lot into this. It's upsetting they can do this," the homeowner said. "When they first poured the base, I said it's the size of a trampoline. It's huge. It clearly belongs on the side of a highway, not a neighborhood."

The homeowner, who wants to stay anonymous, said it has become an attraction in all the wrong ways.

"If I am inside, I can see them kind of stop if they are on a walk and take a look up and down," the homeowner said. "If I am outside, they will be, like, 'Do you own this house? I am so sorry.' Every single person apologizes, and I am like, I don't know what else to say at this point."

Her frustrations are shared with neighbors, who all worry about what this will do to property values in the neighborhood.

"They are a utility company, so they can do whatever they want, but what's it doing to the property values? This can't be good," Steve Wiese, a neighbor, said.

ABC13 got to the bottom of why this is allowed.

A spokesperson for CenterPoint said it is "conducting an electric system enhancement project in Montrose, which includes upgrading our transmission structures to enhance resiliency."

The structures are located in the City of Houston's road right-of-way, according to CenterPoint Energy.

SEE ALSO: CenterPoint Energy accreditation revoked after consumer complaints, Better Business Bureau says

This particular pole, at the intersection of Fairview and Park Street, is a self-supporting 90-degree structure that provides for the removal of five other electric poles and numerous guy wires, according to CenterPoint.

ABC13 also contacted the City of Houston to see whether the city could step in. A spokesperson also pointed to the fact that the State of Texas gives public utilities the right to construct equipment on public rights-of-way within neighborhoods (Sec. 181.042).

A spokesperson did acknowledge the City of Houston is aware of the pole and its impact on the community.

"We are investigating any enforcement actions that may be available to us, up to and including legal action against CenterPoint if we find a violation of any kind," a spokesperson for the Department of Administration and Regulatory Affairs said.

When asked why CenterPoint did not contact residents beforehand, a spokesperson said they are not required to.

In the statement, a spokesperson said, "The Public Utility Commission of Texas does not require utilities to file a certificate of convenience and necessity (CCN) for routine activities associated with transmission facilities such as upgrading to a higher voltage not greater than 230 kV, as was performed for this project (from 69kV to 138kV)."

However, the spokesperson did acknowledge the company should have, even if it were not required.

"We acknowledge that we should have engaged our neighbors about this pole. We will strive to ensure that such communications occur in the future," the spokesperson said.

SEE ALSO: CenterPoint fixes leaning power pole in southwest Houston neighborhood after Action 13 intervenes

Andy Abercrombie has lived on the same street since the early '80s. Abercrombie said he understands why the utility poles are important, especially with the February freeze still fresh on his mind.

"We made it through OK. Much better than other people had in the city, so to have someone like that in the city is helpful," Abercrombie said.

However, many residents still don't understand the reasoning for the utility poles having to be placed so close to their homes.

"I think that is everyone's question. Why does it have to be in front of a house?" the anonymous homeowner said. "Why can't it be outside the neighborhood? On the street. Not in front of all these houses? It clearly doesn't belong here."

The giant pole is not only an eyesore, but a safety hazard, some neighbors voiced.

"Anyone trying to cross Fairview, the problem is you just can't see to your left-hand side," Abercrombie said. "I think the solution would be to put one of those half-round mirrors, the ones that give you a 180-degree view, and then you would always be able to tell what is coming in that lane."

Amid the frustrations, construction continues, while some neighbors wonder if their homes will be next, fearing they clearly have no say in the matter.

"I just think this is a very important neighborhood in Houston," the anonymous homeowner said. "It's right in the heart of Houston. All these houses are historic for the most part if not very nice, newly built houses. It's just ruining the neighborhood."

Where to cool off as Houstonians bear sweltering weather this weekend without any power

Houston's Excessive Heat Watch comes as thousands of power outages have people without air conditioning searching for cooling centers this weekend.HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Cooling centers are open for the public this weekend to beat the soaring temperatures as thousands of CenterPoint Energy customers are reported without power.The City of Houston activated its Public Health Heat Emergency Plan on June 14 as the area began experiencing intense heat. But after severe wind storms hit Houston on Wednesday, some residents have been...

Houston's Excessive Heat Watch comes as thousands of power outages have people without air conditioning searching for cooling centers this weekend.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Cooling centers are open for the public this weekend to beat the soaring temperatures as thousands of CenterPoint Energy customers are reported without power.

The City of Houston activated its Public Health Heat Emergency Plan on June 14 as the area began experiencing intense heat. But after severe wind storms hit Houston on Wednesday, some residents have been without power for three days now.

The National Weather Service predicts that weekend heat index values will even reach as high as 111. CenterPoint Energy reported 17,000 customers to be without air conditioning Saturday morning.

The cooling centers will be located in Houston libraries on Saturday and community centers, and multi-service centers on Sunday.

HOUSTON FORECAST: Rain chances moves out, intense heat moves in

Houstonians should also prepare for the heat by increasing water consumption, conducting outdoor work or exercise in the early morning or evening when temperatures aren't as high, and wearing light-colored, loose-fitting clothing that permits the evaporation of sweat. If you're attending Pride Houston events, The Houston Health Department urges you to take enough water.

On Saturday, Precinct 3 is opening the George H.W. Bush Community Center from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. with water and WiFi available.

Harris County and BakerRipley has partnered with American Red Cross to open an emergency shelter in northeast Harris County. The shelter located at BakerRipley, 3000 Aldine Mail Route Road will open at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 24. Red Cross workers are prepared to provide meals, a place to cool off and safe place to sleep.

Libraries available this weekend are listed below:

Acres Homes Library

8501 West Montgomery, Houston, TX 77088

Alief Regional Library

11903 Bellaire Blvd., Houston, TX 77072

Blue Ridge Library

7007 West Fugua, Houston, TX 77489

Carnegie Library

1050 Quitman, Houston, TX 77009

Central Library

500 McKinney, Houston, TX 77002

Clayton Library

5300 Caroline, Houston, TX 77004

Collier Regional Library

6200 Pinemont, Houston, TX 77092

Flores Library

110 North Milby, Houston, TX 77003

Frank Express Library

10103 Fondren, Houston, TX 77096 (inside Brays Oaks Towers)

Gregory Library

1300 Victor, Houston, TX 77019

Heights Library

1302 Heights Blvd., Houston, TX 77008

Hillendahl Library

2436 Gessner, Houston, TX 77080

HMRC Library

550 McKinney, Houston, TX 77002

Johnson Library

3517 Reed Rd, Houston, TX 77051

Jungman Library

5830 Westheimer, Houston, TX 77057

Kashmere Gardens Library

5411 Pardee, Houston, TX 77026

Looscan Library

2510 Willowick, Houston, TX 77028

Mancuso Library

6767 Bellfort, Houston, TX 77087

Melcher Library

7200 Keller, Houston, TX 77012

Montrose Library

4100 Montrose, Houston, TX 77006

Moody Library

9525 Irvington, Houston, TX 77076

Oak Forest Library

1349 West 43rd, Houston, TX 77018

Park Place Regional Library

8145 Park Place, Houston, TX 77017

Ring Library

8835 Long Point, Houston, TX 77055

Robinson-Westchase Library

3223 Wilcrest, Houston, TX 77042

Scenic Woods Regional Library

10677 Homestead Rd., Houston, TX 77016

Smith Library

3624 Scott, Houston, TX 77004

Southwest Express Library

6400 High Star, Houston, TX 77074

Stanaker Library

611 S. Sgt Macario Garcia, Houston, TX 77011

Stella Link Regional Library

7405 Stella Link, Houston, TX 77025

TECHLink Dixon Library

8002 Hirsch, Houston, TX 77016

Tuttle Library

702 Kress, Houston, TX 77020

Vinson Library

3810 West Fuqua, Houston, TX 77045

Walter Library

7660 Clarewood, Houston, TX 77036

Young Library

5107 Griggs Rd, Houston, TX 77021

The following city multi-service centers are designated as cooling locations on Sunday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.:

Acres Home Multi Service Center

6719 W. Montgomery Road

Houston, Texas 77091

Sunnyside Health and Multi-Service Center

4410 Reed Road

Houston, Texas 77051

Acres Home Multi Service Center

6719 W. Montgomery Road

Houston, Texas 77091

To find the nearest cooling center location or an air-conditioned city facility, people can call 3-1-1 for more.



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