Press Releases

BPUB, Utilities Across Texas Continue Facing Rotating Outages

BROWNSVILLE, Texas – With extreme cold weather continuing Monday night across Texas, the Brownsville Public Utilities Board (BPUB) and utilities across Texas continue to be employing rotating outages to protect the state’s electrical grid. These rotating outages will likely continue into Tuesday, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).

ERCOT, the agency responsible for managing and safeguarding Texas’ electrical grid, began using these controlled outages at approximately 1:25 a.m. Monday morning as electric demand began to exceed available supply. Electric generation has been hampered as utilities have faced frozen wind turbines and limited gas supplies and then the loss of additional generating units when the weather worsened overnight.

BPUB has been adhering to ERCOT’s requests for electric load curtailment in order to safeguard the state’s electrical grid. The large amount of power necessary to lose resulted in longer than expected outages for some customers as the need to reduce usage continued to spike.

In addition, there were hundreds of customers out at times because of weather-related issues or damages within the electrical system. These outages have continued to be addressed by BPUB crews, and additional customers continue to be restored.

ERCOT is still asking consumers to curtail electric usage as much as possible in light of record winter demand across the state and predicts continued rotating outages into Tuesday. Customers are encouraged to avoid using any non-essential appliances or lighting.

Attempts to restore electrical service to certain areas have been unsuccessful because of the sudden demand for a large amount of electricity once the area is re-energized. Unplugging or turning off equipment while experiencing an outage helps prevent that sudden surge of electrical demand and should allow additional customers to regain service.

BPUB recommends that customers without power unplug devices and ensure their thermostat is turned off. Once service is restored, BPUB asks that customers slowly plug back in equipment and turn things on but to still try to limit use to essential activities.