The rotating power outages that afflicted Austin today are over for now, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), but the energy regulator says there is a strong likelihood they could resume tomorrow.
"Without this safety valve," ERCOT said in a statement, "generators would overload and begin shutting down to avoid damage, risking a domino effect of a state-wide outage."
Here are measures ERCOT says you can you can take to lower your power consumption and help reduce the need for rolling outages.
- Limit electricity usage to only that consumption that is absolutely necessary. Turn off all unnecessary lights, appliances, and electronic equipment.
- Do not use your dishwasher, laundry equipment, hair dryers, coffee makers, pool pump, or other home appliances between the hours of 6 am to 9 am and 4 pm to 8 pm.
- Check out other no- or low-cost conservation tips or other energy efficiency improvements you can make to your home by clicking here.
- If rotating outages are ordered, they will be limited in duration to between 10 and 45 minutes unless equipment trips due to a power surge during the restoration process.
- Customers can minimize the chance that power surges will occur by turning off all appliances, lights, and other electrical equipment. Leave one task light on to determine when power has been restored.
- Minimize unnecessary travel, as traffic signals may go out of service, resulting in traffic jams.