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ACTION: Conserve Energy to Help Restore Power to Customers

Published Feb 16, 2021 by A.J. Mistretta

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Call to Action from the Greater Houston Partnership:

The greater Houston area, as well as virtually the entire state of Texas, has been impacted by the extreme weather event over the last two days, which has resulted in widespread and continuing large-scale power outages. Because of a continuing shortage of power supply (i.e., generation) on the Texas (ERCOT) grid, combined with high customer load related to the low temperatures, ERCOT has called for significant power curtailments to balance electricity supply and demand. These curtailments are executed by local power distribution companies (e.g. CenterPoint Energy). Because of the prolonged character of this weather event, these curtailments (outages) are lasting longer than traditional rolling-blackouts used to shave peak on some very hot summer days.

As a result, ERCOT and local and state elected officials have issued a call for energy conservation.

The less power each of us uses, the more power is available to distribute to more homes – i.e., fewer customers must be curtailed.

For residential customers who have electricity, we encourage you to help conserve energy by taking the following steps:

  • Turn down thermostats to 68 degrees or lower;
  • Open blinds and shades to take advantage of the sun’s natural heat during the day;
  • Close shades and blinds at night to reduce the amount of heat lost through windows;
  • Turn off and unplug non-essential lights and appliances; and avoid using large appliances (e.g., ovens, washing machines, etc.).  

For all other electric customers (non-essential governmental entities, commercial and industrial customers, businesses, and other institutions and organizations), we encourage you to conserve power by limiting operations as much as possible and reducing electricity usage while the weather event continues.

We at the Greater Houston Partnership appreciate all that is being done – both by the electric industry and by the state’s consumers – to manage through this situation. We, like others, will be prepared for an in-depth investigation into what happened this week and what steps might be taken in the future to avoid a similar event. In the meantime, please stay safe.

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