Mayor's Office Press Release
City of Houston and Reliant Launch 2020 Beat the Heat Program to Help Houstonians "Stay Cool in Your Home"
July 7, 2020 -- Today, Mayor Sylvester Turner joined Reliant and Harris County Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia to officially launch its Beat the Heat program to help residents “Stay Cool in Your Home” and avoid the summer heat while practicing social distancing. The 2020 edition of this annual program will provide residents across Houston with portable AC units, care packages, financial assistance and energy efficiency information for much-needed summer relief.
"The COVID-19 public health crisis has changed our lives, but it will not change the city’s commitment to helping Houstonians during the hot summer months. Although we won’t be opening the cooling centers as usual to help keep people socially distant, I’m proud we have come up with a way to still make sure Houstonians can keep cool during the summer,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “Staying home means also being able to stay cool in your own home. I want to thank Reliant for being a great partner as we work together to provide for our communities.”
“During these hot summer months, social distancing guidelines related to the COVID-19 pandemic will make it even harder for our seniors and vulnerable residents to get the help they need,” said Elizabeth Killinger, president of Reliant. “For 15 years, we have welcomed our neighbors into Reliant’s Beat the Heat cooling centers across the city. While this year’s program looks different, we are pleased to expand our partnership with the City of Houston and provide new support for Harris County Precinct 2 through their nonprofit Precinct2gether to help even more residents stay cool while safe at home.”
How Houstonians Can Beat the Heat This Summer
Reliant is bringing its annual Beat the Heat cooling centers inside Houston homes this year by providing portable air conditioning units to seniors and other vulnerable residents to “Stay Cool in Your Home.” Health, safety and energy efficiency tips; energy assistance information; supplies, including a wall thermometer, mask, gloves, cooling cloths and bottled water; and important services and phone numbers will be shared, along with Zoom meeting links for activities to help keep seniors engaged.
As needed, Reliant and the City of Houston will open emergency cooling centers while ensuring the appropriate social distancing and safety measures are in place. Residents can sign up for AlertHouston notifications to be informed when emergency cooling centers are opened. For more details, visit the Beat the Heat website.
Community Assistance by Reliant
In addition to kicking off this year’s program, Reliant announced two donations totaling $80,000 to support seniors and vulnerable citizens across the city.
- $60,000 to the Houston Health Department’s Harris County Area Agency on Aging air conditioner program that will provide portable AC units to seniors to stay cool in their homes, and care packages for vulnerable residents and seniors who are participants in the department’s meal programs. Harris County seniors, disabled individuals and families without means to cool their homes can call 832-393-4301 to qualify for the AC program.
- $20,000 to Precinct2gether in East Harris County to provide additional portable AC units, helpful information and resources to vulnerable residents.
“Over the last 3 to 4 months, my team has worked tirelessly around the clock to find ways to help our residents, especially our vulnerable communities. We’ve conducted numerous giveaways for masks, pet food, human food, and really ramped up our homebound meals for seniors. With the summer heat already here, I’m so proud we’re able to partner with Reliant to provide yet another necessity for our seniors – air conditioning units. Being comfortable at home is a luxury many of us take for granted, so I’m happy to help provide them with some much-needed relief in these next few months,” said Commissioner Adrian Garcia.
For anyone who needs help paying their electricity bill this summer, call 2-1-1 within Texas or visit 211texas.org. Reliant customers can also call 1-866-222-7100 or find additional information at reliant.com/care.