Entergy Texas customers are asked to voluntarily reduce their electricity usage, especially between 5 and 9 p.m.
In Entergy Texas’ latest storm update, the energy company said this unusual request is due to the demand for electricity potentially exceeding the available generation due to the extreme cold and weather conditions currently impacting its service territory.
The statement reads: “Current load forecasts are approaching an all-time peak, even greater than those experienced during the polar vortex of January 2019. The company’s reliability coordinator, the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, has made this request to Entergy and other utilities in its footprint, including other utilities in our area.”
“Freezing rain, snow, and sleet arrived in the Entergy Texas service territory Sunday night and into Monday morning. Record-cold temperatures are expected Monday night into Tuesday morning, and extreme cold temperatures are expected to last for much of the week.”
“Entergy Texas’ western region is experiencing a record all-time load. High electrical power demand has caused a power shortage and issues caused by the freeze are impacting generation units and transmission lines. We continue our work to return power plants online but are facing difficulties due to the extreme cold. We have begun rotating outages to limit how long customers are affected by these outages. We have already begun rotating outages to restore customers who have been affected the longest. We will continue this rotation process until we are able to return our generation to service and MISO cancels its request for curtailment.”
If you lose power, Entergy asks its customers to:
- Stay away from downed power lines and assume they are energized. Report them to 1-800-9OUTAGE.
- If you have a portable generator, use it safely. Do not run it in an enclosed space. If connecting to the whole house, do so only if the connection has been installed by a licensed electrician to prevent back feed on to the distribution system.
- Do not open your refrigerator or freezer door. Food will stay cold much longer this way. If outside temperature is below freezing, consider placing food in an ice chest outside.
- Please stay clear of linemen as they work to safely restore power.
- Entergy employees are navigating the COVID-19 pandemic by taking additional steps. Crews will continue to practice social distancing, and we ask that customers do the same. For our safety and yours, please stay away from work zones.
- Customers without power can help in the restoration process by turning off major appliances but leaving on a lamp or other light to indicate when power is restored. Then, gradually turn other appliances to spread out the increase in power usage over a longer time. Visit entergy.com/cold to learn more.
You can do your part to conserve electricity by following these steps:
- Heating can account for as much as 55 percent of your monthly electric bill. Setting the thermostat to 68 degrees in the winter is an easy way to reduce how much energy you use. Every degree above 68 on the thermostat can increase your bill by about 3 percent.
- Conserve hot water. Wrap your electric water heater with a water heater blanket that can be found at local home improvement stores and set the thermostat to 120 degrees or medium.
- Keep all doors and windows closed. Constant traffic will let out the warm air, forcing your heater to work harder to keep the room at the set temperature.
- Ensure fans are turning the right way. Fans should be run at a low speed clockwise during the winter. This helps keep the cold air from blowing down on you.
- Keep the air circulating. Don’t block heat registers or air returns with curtains or furniture.
- Leverage the sun. During the day, open your curtains and blinds to let in the warm sunlight. Close them at night to reduce heat loss.
To keep up with the latest information about Entergy:
- Download our free app for your smartphone at entergy.com/app.
- Sign up for text alerts. From your cellphone text REG to 36778.
- Visit the Entergy Storm Center website and our View Outages
- Follow us on Twitter.com/entergytx or Facebook.com/entergytx.
- Call us at 800-9OUTAGE (800-968-8243).
- Follow updates in your local news media like radio television and newspapers.