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February 15, 2021

ERCOT directs utilities to begin rolling outages

Due to strain on the electric grid caused by extremely cold weather, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has issued an Energy Emergency Alert Level 3 (EEA-3), instructing electric utilities throughout the state, including BTU, to begin instituting rolling outages to help rebalance the electric grid.

Rolling outages are temporary interruptions to electric service that can last anywhere from 10-45 minutes per neighborhood and are made necessary due to an imbalance between electric load and available generation resulting from the cold weather.

“It is very important that all utilities participate in helping reduce strain on the electric grid, and at this time ERCOT has determined that this can only be accomplished by shedding load from the system,” said BTU’s General Manager, Gary Miller. “BTU’s primary concern is the safety and well-being of our customers, and while these outages are certainly not ideal, they are in the best interest of our service territory and the integrity of the Texas electric system as a whole.”

During this period of rolling blackouts, customers are urged to reduce their electric load to the smallest amount possible, by turning off all unnecessary lighting, appliances, and electronic equipment. Additionally, businesses should avoid starting equipment that utilizes a large amount of electricity, and postpone any non-essential production processes.

Customers who are currently experiencing a power outage need to turn off electric heating units, furnaces, and appliances in their homes and businesses, to assist in BTU’s efforts to restore power as safely and quickly as possible. Once power is restored, customers are asked to wait 15-30 minutes before turning electric devices back on in order to avoid undue stress on the electric facilities in the area.

BTU reminds customers that blacked out traffic signals should be treated as stop signs, and to use extreme caution when traveling during these outages.

Customers are encouraged to monitor television and radio, and BTU’s website for more information. Updates will also be posted here on the BTU website, on Facebook (@BryanTexasUtilities), and Twitter (@BTU_BryanTX).

Posted in: Press Releases