SAN ANGELO, TX – AEP Texas is voluntarily asking that consumers throughout its service territory initiate conservation measures through Tuesday as temperatures continue to drop and extreme winter weather becomes worse.
AEP Texas indicates that the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) may direct transmission and distribution companies to temporarily interrupt power throughout the ERCOT grid or in selected areas. This emergency procedure would be taken to avoid a sustained large-scale outage and prevent long-term damage to the electric system.
By voluntarily asking customers to conserve energy, AEP Texas hopes to reduce the chance that ERCOT will have to order controlled rotating outages from one area to another. Although the most intense winter weather may not occur until Sunday and Monday, conservation measures are needed now to ease the situation.
Steps to help reduce electricity use:
• Turn down the thermostat 2 to 3 degrees especially during the peak hours of 2 to 8 p.m. (Consider wearing additional layers of clothing to remain comfortable.)
• Set programmable thermostats to lower temperatures when no one is home.
• Limit use of large appliances (i.e., dishwasher, washer, dryer, etc.) to morning or after 8 p.m.
• If you cook indoors from 2 to 8 p.m., use a microwave or slow cooker.
• Close blinds and drapes during late afternoon to keep heat inside.
If you lose power, turn off your heating, water heater and large appliances to enable smoother service restoration. Once power is restored, you should switch the devices back on gradually over the following 30-to-45 minutes. Taking this step will help prevent a sudden surge in demand after power is restored, which could cause a second outage.
AEP Texas will provide additional information as it becomes available.