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What are rolling blackouts?

A rolling blackout is a last-resort measure taken to prevent the power grid from crashing during a time of increased demand for electricity.  This means that the demand for electricity exceeds the amount the grid is able to produce.  Rolling blackouts are typically only used in severe or emergency cases and prevent a complete collapse of the state’s power system. 

In the event of a rolling blackout, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which operates the power grid for much of the state of Texas, takes control over transmission and distribution providers in order to shut off electricity to portions of the grid for set amounts of time in order to conserve energy.  The short outages “roll” to different sections of the grid, hence the name rolling blackouts.   While this may be inconvenient, it prevents consumers from going without power for a long period of time and is critical for protecting the grid. 

CTEC does not receive advanced notification when a rolling black out will occur.  The co-op will therefore not be able to give warning to members prior to a rolling blackout outage. 

In an effort to help prevent rolling blackouts, try to conserve energy especially during the hottest times of the day and peak hours from 3 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  Turn your thermostat up a few degrees and refrain from using large appliances such as clothes washers and dryers, dishwashers and stoves.  


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