Utility Power Outage & Load Shed Information
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) manages the flow of electric power to more than 26 million Texas customers. ERCOT is responsible for ensuring that the supply of electricity is sufficient to meet customer demand (load) for electricity in most of the state.
When electric supply provided by all available power generation plants, wind farms and other sources becomes insufficient to meet customer demand, ERCOT begins emergency operations. During a power emergency when electric supply cannot meet consumer demand for electricity and all other operational tools have been exhausted, the demand for electricity must be reduced to avoid uncontrolled blackouts. As a last resort, ERCOT will instruct electric utilities to implement controlled customer outages to reduce the customer demand for electricity on the ERCOT grid. This is referred to as load shed and will last until the power emergency is resolved by ERCOT.
Typically, before calling for controlled customer outages, ERCOT takes steps to reduce the demand on the electric grid by asking customers to reduce electric usage. Electric utilities, including yours, are obligated to immediately implement load shed procedures when ERCOT instructs.
Please review your utility’s load shedding procedure and outage information:
|AEP Texas||CenterPoint||Oncor||Texas New Mexico Power|
|Load Shedding Procedure||Load Shedding Procedure||Load Shedding Procedure||Load Shedding Procedure|
|Electricity Outage Center||Electricity Outage Center||Electricity Outage Center||Electricity Outage Center|
During load shedding events, efforts will be made as much as possible to provide advanced notice by the utility to certain customers who require electricity as they are a Critical Load Public Safety Customer, Critical Load Industrial Customer, or a Chronic Condition Residential Customer. It is important to note that these customers are not excluded from controlled outages and may lose power during a load shed event. Anyone who depends on electricity for life-sustaining equipment should have a back-up plan in place.
- Critical Load Public Safety Customer – A customer for whom electric service is considered crucial for the protection or maintenance of public safety, including but not limited to hospitals, police stations, fire stations, and critical water and wastewater facilities.
- Critical Load Industrial Customer – An industrial customer for whom an interruption or suspension of electric service will create a dangerous or life-threatening condition on the retail customer’s premises.
- Chronic Condition Residential Customer – A residential customer who has a person permanently residing in his or her home who has been diagnosed by a physician as having a serious medical condition that requires an electric-powered medical device or electric heating or cooling to prevent the impairment of a major life function through a significant deterioration or exacerbation of the person’s medical condition. If that serious medical condition is diagnosed or re-diagnosed by a physician as a life-long condition, the designation is effective under this section for the shorter of one year or until such time as the person with the medical condition no longer resides in the home. Otherwise, the designation or re-designation is effective for 90 days.
Please use the following to review your utility’s process for registering your requirement for advanced notice based on the above criteria:
Hudson Energy is able to alert all customers who have provided a working email address when there may be an electricity emergency that requires involuntary load shedding. During these times, it is critical that everyone in the affected area reduce their electricity use to assist ERCOT in their effort to maintain the balance between energy supply and demand. Please ensure that your email address is up to date by checking your account portal here.
Tips to prepare your home in the event of a load shedding event or weather-related power outage:
- Install insulated curtains on all windows
- Stay up to date on your air conditioner maintenance schedule to ensure optimal energy efficiency
- Seal your home using weather strips around doors and windows
- Repair cracks in window and door frames with caulk
We recommend taking the following actions to reduce your electricity usage when load shedding events may be implemented:
- Avoid using large appliances (dish washers, washing machines and dryers, stoves, ovens) and any electronic device that is not critical (televisions, audio equipment)
- Unplug any non-essential lights and appliances
- Change your thermostat settings for optimal electricity efficiency (78 F in the summer and 68 F in the winter) or turn off entirely