AUSTIN, TX, Jan. 6, 2013. – With cold temperatures and high electric use this morning, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has announced an Energy Emergency Alert and has implemented the first two stages of its steps to protect the grid.
“We have brought on all available electric generation and have deployed all demand response programs that have contracted with ERCOT to reduce electric use in emergency situations,” said Dan Woodfin, ERCOT director of System Operations. “Conditions appear to be improving at this time, and we do not expect to implement rotating outages this morning.”
Here are some ways to help until operating reserves are restored to target levels.:
· Keep your thermostat as low as is comfortable, preferably no higher than 68 degrees.
· Turn off and unplug non-essential lights and appliances.
· Avoid running large appliances such as washers, dryers and electric ovens during peak energy demand hours (6-9 a.m. and 4-8 p.m.).
· Close shades and blinds at night to reduce the amount of heat lost through windows.
· 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 Power to Save Texas, Public Utility Commission of Texas: http://www.powertosavetexas.org/
Power Warnings are issued by the regional electric grid operator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), when there is a likelihood that rotating outages will be needed 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 such as hospitals and nursing homes.
The outages are typically 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.
How to track electricity demand
· View daily peak demand forecast, current load and available generation at http://www.ercot.com/ or on the ERCOT Energy Saver mobile app.
· Get real-time notices of energy emergency alerts by following @ERCOT_ISO on Twitter<http://twitter.com/#!/ercot_iso>, liking the Electric Reliability Council of Texas on Facebook<https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Electric-Reliability-Council-of-Texas/208282585857723>, downloading the free ERCOT Energy Saver mobile app for Apple<http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ercot/id520829355?mt=8> or Android<https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ercot.ercotMobileOne&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEsImNvbS5lcmNvdC5lcmNvdE1vYmlsZU9uZSJd> devices, or by signing up for the EmergencyAlerts list on http://lists.ercot.com<http://lists.ercot.com/>.
Public Utility Commission Hotline – 1-888-782-8777
Office of Public Utility Counsel Consumer Assistance – 1-877-839-0363
How to track electricity demand
Call your electric utility for specific information about local outages
ERCOT manages the state’s high-voltage bulk electricity grid. For questions about local outages at your home or business, or questions about rotating outage procedures for your neighborhood, contact the utility company or transmission provider listed on your electric bill.
AEP Texas <http://www.aeptexas.com/>
Bandera Electric Cooperative<http://www.banderaelectric.com/>
Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative <http://www.bluebonnetelectric.com/>
Brazos Electric Power Cooperative<http://www.brazoselectric.com/>
Brownsville Public Utilities Board<http://www.brownsville-pub.com/>
Bryan Texas Utilities<http://www.btutilities.com/>
College Station Utilities<http://www.cstx.gov/home/index.asp?page=2004>
CPS Energy – San Antonio<http://www.cpsenergy.com/>
Denton Municipal Electric<http://www.dmepower.com/>
Garland Power & Light<http://www.garlandpower-light.org/>
Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative<http://www.gvec.org/>
Magic Valley Electric Cooperative<http://www.magicvalley.coop/>
Nueces Electric Cooperative<http://www.nueceselectric.org/>
Pedernales Electric Cooperative<http://www.pec.coop/>
Rayburn County Electric Cooperative (call local co-op)
South Texas Electric Cooperative<http://www.stec.org/>
Texas-New Mexico Power<http://www.tnpe.com/>
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
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Inc., (ERCOT) manages the flow of electric power to approximately 23 million Texas customers – representing 85 percent of the state’s electric load and 75 percent of the Texas land area. As the Independent System Operator for the region, ERCOT schedules power on an electric grid that connects 40,500 miles of transmission lines and more than 550 generation units. ERCOT also manages financial settlement for the competitive wholesale bulk-power market and administers customer switching for 6.7 million Texans in competitive choice areas. 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.