AEP Texas is awaiting the full go-ahead from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) before restoring power to all customers whose service has been interrupted. ERCOT instructed electric utilities to interrupt power early Monday morning and anticipates continuing the controlled outages through the rest of today and into Tuesday. AEP Texas continues to work with ERCOT to achieve support to begin full restoration of service.
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.
As of 4 p.m., over 367,000 AEP Texas customers remained without power.
“This is a statewide issue, and all utilities are responding to one of the most widespread and extreme weather events we’ve faced in recent history,” said Jeff Stracener, AEP Texas vice president of Distribution Region Operations. “ERCOT ordered the controlled outages as a preventive measure to protect the grid from long-term damage and even longer outages than we are currently experiencing. ERCOT, which covers 80 percent of the state, is continuing the controlled outages due to the severity of the situation.”
As ERCOT lifts the controlled outage directive, AEP Texas and other utilities will restore service customers and complete any needed repairs. In the meantime, customers can help ensure a smooth restoration of power by taking the following steps:
- If you lose power, turn off your heating, 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.
Energy conservation measures are urgently needed now through Tuesday. Steps to help reduce electricity use include:
- Turn the thermostat down 2-to-3 degrees • Set programmable thermostats to lower temperatures when no one is home.
- Limit use of large appliances (i.e., dishwasher, washer, dryer, etc.) • If you cook indoors from 2-to-8 p.m., use a microwave or slow cooker.
- Close blinds and drapes during late afternoon.
“We appreciate the patience and support we’ve seen from our customers and communities throughout our entire service territory,” Stracener said. “A winter storm this extreme and widespread throughout the state is very unusual. We will restore power to every one as quickly and safely as we can.”