URGENT NEWS: A Level 2 Energy Emergency Alert has been issued for the state of Texas by SPP and ERCOT.

This means that the electric reserves that generate power across the state are operating beyond their normal capabilities. At the moment, all emergency energy reserves have been deployed. When the reserves become critical enough that a Level 1 Energy Emergency Alert is issued, there is a strong possibility of rolling blackouts.

The Southwest Power Pool (SPP) is the power grid for the Texas Panhandle, while ERCOT covers the rest of Texas. The current outlook for SPP can be found at this link. Real-time information about current energy reserves for ERCOT can be accessed by visiting this link. As of the time of this writing, Texas only has 1 MW of reserves before we enter Level 1; if reserves drop to 800 KW, they will start rolling blackouts.  

In an effort to avoid blackouts, many large industrial customers across the state have agreed to reduce or power off their electricity until the emergency alert is lifted. Energy officials are also urging Texans to take certain measures to help in preventing blackouts. 

Here is what you can do to help reduce energy usage and avoid blackouts: 

  • Turn the thermostat down by 2 to 3 degrees. 
  • Turn off all lights when possible.
  • Delay using any heavy appliances such as dishwashers and washer/dryers until later in the week
  • Limit the number of electric heaters running at a time. 
  • Use newspapers or plastic bags to insulate your windows against the cold. 

You can review these measures in full on the ERCOT’s page for conservation tips.

Representatives of Xcel, Atmos, SPP, and ERCOT are asking area residents to reduce their energy usage in any way possible through Tuesday. The most critical hours for reduced energy usage is during the peak hours of 2 to 7 p.m., according to the ERCOT website

This article has been updated as of 8:29am 2/15/2021 to reflect more accurate information about SPP and ERCOT.