Thu August 4, 2011
Where To Find Outage Information If Blackouts Hit Austin
Oppressive heat is helping to push Texas’ power grid to maximum capacity. Now the state’s grid operator has declared an Energy Emergency Level 2, which triggers some factories to power down voluntarily.
But with the peak hour of energy consumption still ahead – 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. -- you may be interested to know about Austin Energy’s Customer Outage Portal, should rolling blackouts occur.
If the Electric Reliability Council of Texas declares an Energy Emergency Level 3, it will require electricity utilities like Austin Energy to implement temporary power outages of 15 to 45 minutes in length.
Should those outages occur, Austin Energy usually asks customers to reduce their power load as much as possible by turning off all unnecessary appliances and electronics. That not only reduces the need for outages by lowering overall consumption, but it also makes it easier for Austin Energy to turn the power back on in certain neighborhoods, according to the statement.
But you might want to consider reducing your energy consumption anyway to help avert a Level 3 emergency. These tips from ERCOT include advice like avoiding opening your fridge more than necessary, using microwaves to cook instead of electric ovens, and raising your thermostat to 78 degrees or higher.