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AEP Texas: Some customers may not have power restored until Wednesday

Higher heating costs projected for this winter amid pandemic
Posted at 6:07 PM, Feb 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-15 19:18:56-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — UPDATE 5:22 p.m.

AEP announced in a release that some groups without power may not get it restored until Wednesday.

"Circuit loading due to the length of time customers have been without power could result in some customer groups not having their service restored before Wednesday or later."

ERCOT instructed electric utilities to facilitate controlled outages early Monday morning. They anticipate the rotations to roll into Tuesday, and hope this will help achive full restoration of service

UPDATE 5:03 p.m.

South Texas customers without power should make plans to be without power into Monday night and possibly Tuesday morning, as the state deals with unprecedented frigid winter weather.

AEP Texas announced that the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is requesting Texas electric companies to increase the amount of power removed from their systems, resulting in rotating outages throughout the state.

Until those rotating outages cease, issues causing "traditional power outages cannot be repaired," said Omar Lopez, corporate communications manager for AEP.

"We predicted we would use more electricity than we would during our hottest day in summer. We’ve gone through our reserves," Lopez said.

"In going through these reserves, rotating outages are needed to prevent outages lasting weeks, as opposed to a few days," he said.

Lopez adds that it is a statewide issue, and a requirement that all energy providers must comply immediately when told to lessen the load on the power grid. They are also prepared to restore power as soon as given the green light to do so.

"This is a Texas issue. This isn’t just an AEP issue. We are doing our best and we are prepared to restore power the minute we are safely able to do so," Lopez said.

For residents who rely on oxygen, or other lifesaving machines, AEP began issuing information urging residents to prepare for potential power outages beginning last week. Lopez said residents who find themselves in a life-threatening situation should call 9-1-1, or 2-1-1 to make arrangements for care before it becomes urgent.

UPDATE 2-15-21:

AEP Texas announced that the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is requesting Texas electric companies to increase the amount of power removed from their systems, resulting in rotating outages throughout the state.

"While these controlled outages are meant to be limited in duration, the condition of the system is requiring that they be in effect for a longer period," AEP said in a release.

The company said if you are currently experiencing an outage, you will most likely be out of power for a while. They said customers should be prepared to remain without power for at least the rest of the day.

ORIGINAL STORY:
AEP Texas is asking consumers throughout its service area to conserve energy until Tuesday in order to avoid wide-spread power outages.

If energy is not conserved, AEP says the Electric Reliability Council of Texas will have to order controlled rotating outages from one area to another in order to avoid large-scale outages and prevent damage to the electric system.

Here are some steps AEP says you can follow to help conserve energy.

Turn down the thermostat two to three degrees during the peak hours of 2 p.m - 8 p.m

• Set thermostats to lower temperatures when no one is home

• Limit use of large appliances like the dishwashers, washers and dryers to morning or after 8 p.m.

•Use a microwave or slow cooker to cook meals between the hours of 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Reliant Energy also says to be mindful of heat escape routes which include opening and closing doors and using ventilation fans. They said setting your ceiling fan to rotate clockwise will force warm air down to create warmer conditions in your home without increasing the electricity. Also, closing blinds and shades will reduce the amount of heat lost through the windows.

If you lose power anytime during the winter weather, AEP says you should turn off your heater, water heater, and any large appliances to help with smoother service restoration. Once power is back on, gradually switch devices back on to reduce the possibility of a sudden surge in power demand, which could possibly cause a second outage.