Extreme weather prompts rolling blackouts

Due to extremely cold temperatures and high demand for power, CoServ Electric, Oncor and other local energy companies are initiating rolling blackouts throughout the area.

Outages will last approximately 15 minutes unless extenuating circumstances occur, CoServ officials said.

The blackouts – ordered by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) – started Wednesday morning after more than 50 electric power plants stopped working Tuesday night due to the cold weather.

ERCOT manages the flow of electric power to 22 million Texas customers – representing 85 percent of the state’s electric load. 

ERCOT issued a notice Wednesday afternoon that rotating outages will likely be required again Thursday morning, depending on how quickly the disabled generation units can be returned to service.

Energy conservation is critical during peak demand hours in the morning and evening, ERCOT officials said.

CoServ Gas is also asking customers to voluntarily reduce the temperature settings on thermostats, if possible, in order to cycle on less equipment and conserve natural gas where possible.

To report downed power lines, a power outage, or if you smell gas in CoServ areas, call 911 or CoServ at (940) 321-7800 or (800) 274-4014. 

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