giving support

CenterPoint Energy, Mayor Turner join forces for $1M energy assistance for Houston residents

CenterPoint Energy and the Gulf Coast Community Services Association are now accepting applications for the new program. Photo via centerpointenergy.com

In the season of giving, a Houston energy company has played Santa Claus with a special deliver for underserved Houstonians.

CenterPoint Energy announced a $1 million contribution in Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner’s name towards energy bill assistance that assists low-income residents. The donation will go to a local nonprofit organization Gulf Coast Community Services Association, or GCCSA, which will manage and distribute the funds.

“Given Mayor Turner’s selfless commitment and outstanding service to our city for the past eight years, this felt like a fitting way to celebrate him and build upon his legacy of helping others across our communities,” CenterPoint Energy CEO Dave Lesar says in a news release. “Throughout his entire career in elected office, Mayor Turner always recognized the importance of supporting underserved neighborhoods and neighbors, and this contribution in his name will make a positive lasting impact.”

Today, December 4, GCCSA will begin accepting applications for energy assistance for low-income residents or families living in CenterPoint Energy’s service areas. Applicants can apply online.

“It has been an incredible honor to serve our great city for my eight years in office, “Turner says in a news release. “It also has been a privilege to collaborate with corporate leaders like CenterPoint Energy and impactful nonprofits like GCCSA to help the community members who need it most.

“I am deeply grateful for the countless partnerships and initiatives benefiting Houston during my incredible journey as mayor. Together, we were able to do great things.”

Earlier this summer, CenterPoint also donated $100,000 to Galveston residents by way of nonprofit Vision Galveston. The program was designed to reduce energy consumption and cut utility bills through projects like HVAC tune-ups, as well as installation of ceiling insulation, LED light bulbs, solar screens, and low-flow showerheads.

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A View From HETI

The Rice Alliance Clean Energy Accelerator, a hybrid program based out of the Ion, has named its latest cohort. Photo courtesy of the Ion

The Rice Alliance Clean Energy Accelerator has named 12 early-stage energy technology companies to its latest cohort.

The companies, which hail from six states and two countries, are providing solutions across carbon management, advanced materials, hydrogen, solar, and more. The program, which operates in a hybrid capacity based out of the Ion, will run for 10 weeks beginning July 9 and culminating in a demo day alongside the 21st Rice Alliance Energy Tech Venture Forum on September 12. Throughout the duration, the companies will come to Houston three times.

"As Houston’s preeminent energy startup accelerator, this is an open door to the region’s energy ecosystem for ventures from around the world and puts them through a rigorous curriculum to bolster their fundraising efforts, prepare them for accelerated adoption into the marketplace and expand their connections for potential pilots, partnerships and sales," per a Rice Alliance news release.

This cohort's executives-in-residence, or XiRs, include Tim Franklin-Hensler, John Jeffers, Ritu Sachdeva and Nick Tillmann. In addition to these innovators — who bring their expertise, mentorship, and strategic growth planning — the program is ed by the Rice Alliance’s Kerri Smith and Matt Peña.

Class 4 for the Rice Alliance Clean Energy Accelerator includes:

  • 1s1 Energy, based in Portola Valley, California, develops electrolyzers with boron-based materials so that utilities and heavy industry can produce low-cost green hydrogen to decarbonize existing and future businesses.
  • Houston-based Capwell provides a cost-effective, modular, and easily transportable system that eliminates methane emissions from wells for state governments and oil and as companies.
  • CarboMat, from Calgary, Alberta, provides a clean technology that produces low-cost, sustainable, and mid-tier grade carbon fibers at a 60 percent reduced production cost and 50 percent reduced GHG emissions to composite manufacturers in industries that require large volumes of inexpensive carbon fibers for production of commodity grade products.
  • Cleveland, Ohio-headquartered Corrolytics offers cutting-edge technology that detects corrosion on-site and in near real-time, providing accurate insights into microbial corrosion and general corrosion.
  • Geolabe, from Los Almos, New Mexico, provides an automated methane monitoring system that helps organizations measure environmental performance and introduce and prioritize remedial actions.
  • Kaizen, which operates in Tomball just outside of Houston, provides hydrogen based microgrids that enable fleet electrification at sites that are grid constrained or off grid. The solutions emit no local emissions and reduce global emissions.
  • Los Angeles-based Mitico offers services and equipment to capture carbon dioxide with a patent-pending granulated metal carbonate sorption technology captures over 95 percent of the CO2 emitted from post-combustion point sources.
  • OceanBit, headquartered in Honolulu, provides ocean thermal energy technologies and power plants that delivers abundant, affordable, base load power to utilities and companies who need a firm, dispatchable, and 24/7 carbon-free source of electricity.
  • From Ontario, Canada, QEA Tech provides detailed building envelope energy audits using drones, thermography, and proprietary AI based software.
  • Houston-based Sensytec offers patented sensors, delivering real-time, accurate material performance data of concrete and advanced building materials.
  • Vroom Solar, based in Springfield, Missouri, provides Smart Solar Management technology that optimizes solar and optional AC power differently at a lower cost and smaller footprint for solar customers who need affordable, efficient, and user-friendly power anywhere.
  • VulcanX, from Vancouver, Canada, provides hydrogen and solid carbon to gas utilities, steel manufacturers and ammonia producers who require low-cost and low-emission hydrogen.

Since launching in 2021, the Clean Energy Accelerator has accelerated 43 ventures that have raised more than $166 million in funding. According to the program, these companies have piloted their technologies, connected with investors, created jobs, and many relocated to Houston.

The 2023 cohort included 15 clean energy companies.

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