EEA1: Electric Grid Operator Requests Conservation

February 15, 2021

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) — the Texas grid operator — has declared an Energy Emergency Alert (EEA) Level 1. Consumers and businesses are urged to reduce their electricity use as much as possible today.

The extremely cold weather and icy conditions throughout Texas are causing constraints on the statewide electric grid. Reducing electricity use is an important measure to help ensure adequate energy resources remain available.

Austin Energy is monitoring the conditions closely and is in continuous contact with ERCOT. We’ll continue issuing updates as needed.

Steps to help reduce electricity use: 

• 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: 

• www.austinenergy.com/go/winter

• www.ercot.com/about/conservation

EEAs are issued by ERCOT during periods of high electric demand and low reserve power. At this stage, ERCOT has additional resources that are only available during tight conditions, so rotating outages are not likely.

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).


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