Winter Storm Uri brought the state of Texas to a standstill. At its peak, the storm left 4.5 million homes and businesses without power, killed at least 111 people, and cost Texans around $195 billion. The 2021 session of the Texas Legislature debated several initiatives to address some of the problems facing Texas’ electric grid and reliable electricity service.
To understand Texans’ preferences for reliable electricity, willingness to pay to protect the Texas electric grid from effects of severe weather, and future power generation, the Hobby School of Public Affairs at the University of Houston together with UH Energy conducted an online survey between May 13-25, 2021. The survey is the second to be conducted in the aftermath of Winter Storm Uri; the first was fielded between March 9-19, 2021.
1,500 Texas residents aged 18 years and older participated in the most recent survey, 68% of whom reported having their power interrupted during the winter storm, and 30% reporting damages to their homes due to the outages. The main finding from the survey is that three months after the blackouts, Texans remain frustrated and ready to attribute blame to power generators and policymakers.
Gail Buttorff, Co-Director, Survey Research Institute and Assistant Instructional Professor, Hobby School of Public Affairs
Ramanan Krishnamoorti, Chief Energy Officer, UH Energy and Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Petroleum Engineering and Chemistry, UH Energy
Pablo M. Pinto, Director, Center for Public Policy and Associate Professor, Hobby School of Public Affairs
Sunny M.C. Wong, Professor, Hobby School of Public Affairs
Maria P. Perez Arguelles, Researcher 3, Hobby School of Public Affairs
Yewande O. Olapade, Post-Doctoral Fellow, Hobby School of Public Affairs
Savannah L. Sipole, Research Associate, Hobby School of Public Affairs
Agustín Vallejo, Post-Doctoral Fellow, Hobby School of Public Affairs
Li Zheng, Research Assistant, Hobby School of Public Affairs and PhD Student, Department of Political Science