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KPRC 2 Investigates: Houston homeowners waiting to have solar panels connected to grid

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HOUSTON – Chris Bourque and his wife Zury wash dishes inside their home in Cypress, but what they’d really like to do is wash their hands of a huge problem with their brand new solar panel system.

You see, despite all the money they have spent, they can’t use it.

“We are still not able to use the equipment because we’re waiting on CenterPoint Energy to give us permission to operate. That means to connect to their system, so we can’t turn the system on until we get permission and approval from CenterPoint,” the couple said. “It’s been two months now, and we are still paying our full electric bill.

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, Texas is the second fastest growing state in the nation, right behind California, when it comes to people installing solar panel systems with more than 1,0080,000 people now hooked up with solar systems.

That has created a huge backlog problem for CenterPoint in approving households in the metro area.

In a letter to customers like Chris and his wife, CenterPoint writes, “We are estimating 40 to 50 business days from the day it was submitted for us to process a project. CNP is experiencing a large volume of submitted applications and visual inspections.”

All of this means there could be hundreds of families, just like Chris and his wife, with newly installed, solar panel systems that are just sitting there and can’t be used.

Chris said he paid $40,000 cash for his system when it was installed in June.

Chris said he paid $40,000 cash for his system when it was installed in June.

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Sourabh Verma franklin
Sourabh Verma,From Franklin Tn - Sub-editor in Asian News International(ANI) I am a detailed-driven journalist with 3+ years of experience in news writing and copy-editing, I can file quick, compelling and error-free stories as they break. I have sound knowledge of national and international issues and have covered stories across beats, including politics, parliament, legal and crime like drugs and Human Trafficking at Asian News International (ANI), where I currently work. Some of these include extensive coverage of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, several state Assembly elections, Parliament sessions, COVID-19 pandemic and other stories of national importance. A typical working day involves copy-editing dozens of drafts, managing junior sub-editors in shifts and keeping an eye on developing stories. This added responsibility followed a couple of years of filing stories based on press briefings, bytes and inputs from reporters on the ground.
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