ERCOT Urges Texans To Conserve Power; Rolling Blackouts Possible

1:36 AM / UPDATE: The Electric Reliability Council of (Texas ERCOT) has issued a Level 3 Energy Emergency Alert (EEA). Reserve power has dropped below minimums.
Spring, Texas – The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) which manages power for more than 26 million Texas customers is bracing for record electricity usage while managing power-generation problems. If issues with power-generation continue, it could lead to rolling blackouts similar to the 2011 winter storm.

“We are experiencing record-breaking electric demand due to the extreme cold temperatures that have gripped Texas,” said ERCOT President and CEO Bill Magness. “At the same time, we are dealing with higher-than-normal generation outages due to frozen wind turbines and limited natural gas supplies available to generating units. We are asking Texans to take some simple, safe steps to lower their energy use during this time.”

Given the prolonged, below-freezing temperatures, ERCOT is asking customers to implement conservation measures.

ERCOT provided these tips to reduce electricity usage:

  • Turn down thermostats to 68-degrees
  • Close shades and blinds to reduce the amount of heat lost through windows
  • Avoid using large appliances (i.e., ovens, washing machines, etc.)
  • Businesses should minimize the use of electric lighting and electricity-consuming equipment as much as possible
  • Large consumers of electricity should consider shutting down or reducing non-essential production processes

ERCOT says they have the tools and procedures in place to maintain a reliable electric system during tight grid conditions. If power reserves drop too low, they will have to declare an “Energy Emergency Alert” which could lead to rolling blackouts.

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