Power Emergency - Conservation CRITICAL - Rotating Outages Have Begun
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has instructed utilities to begin rotating outages to compensate for a generation shortage due to numerous plant trips that occurred because of the extreme weather.
Rotating outages are controlled, temporary interruptions of electric service, typically lasting 10-45 minutes per neighborhood. The locations and durations are determined by the local utilities.
It is not known at this time how long the need for rotating outages will last.
Consumers and businesses are urged to reduce their electricity use to the lowest level possible, including these steps:
- Limit electricity usage to only that consumption which is absolutely necessary. Turn off all unnecessary lights, appliances, and electronic equipment.
- 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.
See more conservation tips at "Powerful Advice," Public Utility Commission of Texas:
A Power Emergency indicates that the regional electric grid operator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), has instructed utilities to implement rotating outages to reduce load.
Rotating outages are controlled, temporary interruptions of electrical service initiated by each utility when supplies of reserve power are exhausted. Without this safety valve, generators would overload and begin shutting down to avoid damage, risking a domino effect of a region-wide outage.
Rotating outages primarily affect residential neighborhoods and small businesses and do not typically include critical-need customers.
The outages are limited to 10-45 minutes before being rotated to a different neighborhood. Some customers may experience longer outages if power surges cause equipment failure during the restoration process. Customers can minimize power surges by turning off appliances, lights and other equipment, except for one task light to determine when power has been restored.
The ERCOT Region includes Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Austin, Corpus Christi, Abilene and the Rio Grande Valley. It does not include the El Paso area, the Texas Panhandle, Northeast Texas (Longview, Marshall and Texarkana), and Southeast Texas (Beaumont, Port Arthur, and the Woodlands). Region map: http://www.ercot.com/news/mediakit/maps/index.html
For Utility Information
Check your electric bill to identify your utility company or transmission provider.
Investor-Owned Utilities (Transmission & Distribution)
American Electric Power http://www.aeptexas.com/ 877-373-4858
CenterPoint Energy http://www.centerpointenergy.com 800-752-8036
Oncor http://www.oncorgroup.com/ 888-313-4747
Sharyland Utilities http://www.su-power.com/ 956-668-9551
Texas-New Mexico Power http://www.tnpe.com 888-866-7456
Outside ERCOT Entergy-Texas www.entergy-texas.com 800-968-8243
Community-Owned Electric Utilities
Texas Public Power Association, http://www.tppa.com/
ERCOT Market Participants
ERCOT is a membership-based 501(c)(4) nonprofit corporation, governed by a board of directors and subject to oversight by the Public Utility Commission of Texas and the Texas Legislature. Its members include consumers, cooperatives, generators, power marketers, retail electric providers, investor-owned electric utilities, transmission and distribution providers and municipally owned electric utilities.