EEA3: Rotating Outages Have Begun
February 15, 2021
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) — the Texas grid operator — has declared an Energy Emergency Alert (EEA) Level 3. Austin Energy, along with utilities across the state, have been instructed to begin rotating outages because there is not enough power available to keep up with consumer demand.
Rotating outages are controlled, temporary interruptions of electrical service implemented by utilities when it is necessary for ERCOT to reduce demand on the system. This type of demand reduction is only used as a last resort to preserve the reliability of the electric system as a whole.
Rotating outages are typically limited to 10 to 40 minutes — but may last longer — before being rotated to another location.
ERCOT anticipates the need for rotating outages may last for the next several hours.
Rotating outages are carefully planned to reduce the impact to critical infrastructure and to minimize the impact to customers as best as possible.
Please continue to monitor Austin Energy on Twitter, Facebook and our website for updates.
Consumers and businesses are urged to reduce their electricity use to the lowest level possible, including these steps:
• Keep your thermostat at 68 degrees or lower, if possible. Wear warm, comfortable clothing to help stay warm indoors instead of adjusting the thermostat.
• Keep doors and windows closed to minimize hot air from escaping the home.
• Close shades and blinds to reduce heat leaving home.
• Switch the setting on ceiling fans to run clockwise at a low speed. This gentle updraft helps push warm air near the ceiling down into your living space.
• Unplug nonessential electronics as they still draw current.
• Avoid using large appliances like dryers during peak morning and evening hours.
• When not in use, make sure your fireplace damper is closed to prevent heat from escaping up the chimney.
• If you have central air and heat, do not close vents in unused rooms. This could increase pressure and cause duct leaks.
More conservation tips:
How to track electricity demand:
• For Austin Energy customers, you can use the Austin Energy web app or log into the City of Austin Utilities portal to monitor your energy use.
• View daily peak demand forecast, current load and available generation at www.ercot.com.
• Follow ERCOT on Twitter (@ERCOT_ISO) and Facebook (Electric Reliability Council of Texas).
• Sign up for the ERCOT mobile app (available for download at the Apple App Store and Google Play).