Rolling Outages/Voluntary Energy Conservation Hours

Rolling Electricity Outages

Update 2-15-2021 (3:21 pm):
Rolling outages are lasting longer than expected, according to ERCOT. If you are out of power longer than three hours and your provider is the City of Brenham, please call 979-337-7400 to report the outage.

Published 2-15-2021 (8:32 am): Today, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the governing body that oversees the electric grid in Texas, has instructed utilities to begin rotating outages, which are controlled, temporary interruptions of electrical service that rotate through different parts of the electric grid.

During this time, conservation remains critical and ERCOT continues to urge all Texans to limit and reduce their electric use as much as possible. Rotating outages typically last 15-45 minutes in each area but may vary. These outages have been proven effective at protecting the electric grid during times of incredibly high electric demand and low supply.

Some customers may experience longer outages if power surges cause equipment failure during the restoration process. Potential power surges can be minimized by turning off appliances, lights and other equipment, except for one task light to determine when power has been restored.

City of Brenham customers without power for more than 60 minutes (1 hour) should report outages to 979-337-7400. While it is not known at this time how long the need for rotating outages will last, your provider should notify you once ERCOT determines these outages should cease.

Rolling Outage Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why is my power out?

There are two major issues affecting many customers right now: winter storm outages and controlled power outages directed by ERCOT, which serve to reduce high demand and protect the integrity of the electric grid.

Q: When will my power be restored?

Given the unique combination of lack of generation and historic winter storm damage, estimated restoration times are not yet known. For outages related to the winter storm, our crews continue working around the clock to restore power.

Controlled outages related to grid supply and demand have been significantly extended due to the current emergency grid conditions and severe cold weather. In order to preserve the reliability of the grid, ERCOT has said that additional generation will be needed before power can be restored.

These outages are taking place across the service territory and ERCOT has said they could be required through Tuesday. We are asking all customers to be prepared to be without power for an extended period of time.

If your energy provider is the City of Brenham and you are out of power for more than 3 hours, please report the outage at 979-337-7400.

Q: Why are some homes out for hours and others for minutes or not at all?

Again, there are two major issues affecting many of customers right now: winter storm outages and controlled power outages directed by ERCOT. During instances of substantial generation drop, there are safeguards built into the system that drop power loads automatically in order to prevent cascading widespread outages, or ultimately a blackout. These are designed to be shorter term drops that are reset quicker than controlled outages to prepare for the next response opportunity.

Q: When will power generation plants come back on-line?

Due to the severe winter storm, we do not know and it is outside of our control. Conditions for power generation continue to be very serious and the combination of winter weather and reduced generation is unprecedented in the state of Texas. We are prepared for emergency operations to continue for at least several days.

Help Conserve Energy

Customers can assist in reducing energy demands by:

  • Keeping their thermostat at 68 degrees or lower, if possible. Wear warm, comfortable clothing to help stay warm indoors instead of adjusting the thermostat.
  • Keeping doors and windows closed to minimize hot air from escaping the home.
  • Closing shades and blinds to reduce heat leaving home at night and open shades and blinds during the day to let in sunlight.
  • Switching the setting on ceiling fans to run clockwise at a low speed. This gentle updraft helps push warm air near the ceiling down into your living space.
  • Unplugging non-essential electronics as they still draw current.
  • Avoiding using large appliances like dryers during peak morning and evening hours.
  • When not in use, making sure your fireplace damper is closed to prevent heat from escaping up the chimney.
  • Not closing vents in unused rooms if you have central air and heat. This could increase pressure and cause duct leaks.

Voluntary Energy Conservation Hours

With the cold weather and everyone staying home, energy demands will be high. LRCA and other energy officials are urging voluntary conservation during the following days/times:

  • Friday, 02/12/21 From 04:00 to 08:00 P.M.
  • Saturday, 02/13/21 - 08:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M & 06:00 P.M. to 09:00 P.M.
  • Sunday, 02/14/21 08:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. & 06:00 P.M. to 09:00 P.M.
  • Monday, 02/15/21 06:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. & 05:00 P.M. to 10:00 P.M.
  • Tuesday, 02/16/21 05:00 A.M. to 11:00 A.M.