UPDATE AS OF SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2021 4:00 PM WINTER WEATHER AND EXTREME COLD PUTS COMMUNITY AT RISK- STATE GRID OPERATOR AND CPS ENERGY CALL FOR CUSTOMERS TO REDUCE ELECTRIC AND NATURAL GAS USE
(San Antonio, Texas) – February 14, 2021 – The state of Texas has seen historic cold weather and temperatures will continue to drop. More dangerous conditions are expected as we head into Monday and CPS Energy is prepared to address anticipated power outages safely.
This morning, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) asked consumers and businesses across the state to reduce their electricity use as much as possible. Given the prolonged, below-freezing temperatures, conservation measures should be implemented safely and within reason. Consumers can monitor real-time grid conditions by downloading the ERCOT mobile app and/or following the grid operator on Twitter (@ERCOT_ISO). Customers are also encouraged to follow CPS Energy’s social media feeds (@cpsenergy) and to share the utility’s messaging with their family and friends.
With the record-breaking low temperatures, CPS Energy has also asked the community to reduce energy use for both electric and natural gas services, aligned to CPS Energy’s Guiding Pillars of Reliability, Safety and Customer Affordability. CPS Energy is asking customers to do their part and conserve electric and natural gas energy especially during peak energy use times of 7 a.m. – 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. now through Wednesday, February 17, 2021. In the coming days, CPS Energy will initiate residential and commercial Demand Response events to help conserve energy. These work the same as summer event reductions events and are voluntary for customers once initiated.
“We, as San Antonians and Texans, are all in this together. We are asking customers to safely implement electric and natural gas energy saving measures to help avoid impact to our community and state,” said Paula Gold-Williams, CPS Energy’s President & CEO. “I know our community will work together to help reduce energy use so that we, and fellow Texans across the state, can stay safe during these extreme conditions.”
To assist with keeping residents off the road and safe, CPS Energy’s walk-in centers will be closed on Monday, February 15, 2021. Additionally, Calaveras Park and Lake are closed until further notice.
“We want to remind our customers that CPS Energy is not disconnecting customers during the COVID-19 pandemic, and ask that they use safe heating sources in their homes,” said Rudy Garza, Chief Customer Engagement Officer for CPS Energy. “We want all of our customers and our employees to stay safe and off the roads. If you must be on the road, please be aware of our crews and first responders. Closed roadways and major thoroughfares could impact the response times of our crews and we need to ensure they remain safe too. In the event of outages, our crews will respond as quickly and safely as they can.”
Forecasts call for freezing rain, snow and wind, which along with ice, can damage electrical equipment exposed to sagging or fallen tree limbs. These weather conditions also pose hazards for crews working to restore outages, potentially leaving thousands without power for extended periods. Residents are urged to Move Over/Slow Down when they encounter CPS Energy crews on the side of the road working to restore power quickly and safely for our community.
CPS Energy wants to thank customers for their partnership with safety and helping conserve energy as weather conditions worsen. Persistent freezing temperatures result in increased energy demand, creating conditions that can stress the state grid.
To help conserve energy, customers should:
- Set the thermostat at 68 degrees or lower.
- Limit the use of appliances with high energy consumption, i.e., washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, and water heaters.
- Turn off electrical appliances and unplug chargers not in use.
- Turn electrical heaters and lights off when not needed or the room/area is empty.
- Close exterior doors and windows to keep the cold out.
- Seal any holes or gaps with towels to keep cold air from coming in.
Customers should also keep safety a priority in their homes. While a portable generator can be a secondary power source, never operate a generator in an enclosed or partially enclosed space. Visit CPS Energy’s website for more generator safety tips.
CPS Energy provides the following safety tips associated with natural gas.
- Do not use a natural gas stove as a heat source for your home.
- Ensure that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly.
- If using a natural gas space heater, open a nearby window to ventilate the room and lower the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
- If you smell a strong odor that smells like rotten eggs, get out of the house immediately and call (210) 353-4357 (HELP) from a neighbor’s house as soon as possible.
- For additional natural gas tips, visit CPS Energy’s website.
Currently, there are 25 active outages impacting 81 customers. Causes of these current outages vary. CPS Energy teams are on standby to respond to all reports of power outages and natural gas emergencies throughout the service territory. Customers can stay up-to-date on the utility’s Facebook and Twitter pages and can also monitor power outages and report them on the Outage Map.
Click here for more information on ERCOT’s emergency procedures during tight grid conditions.
Click here for more information on the additional tools and resources available to ERCOT when it declares an EEA.
About CPS Energy
Established in 1860, CPS Energy is the nation’s largest public power, natural gas, and electric company, providing safe, reliable, and competitively-priced service to 860,934 electric and 358,495 natural gas customers in San Antonio and portions of seven adjoining counties. Our customers’ combined energy bills rank among the lowest of the nation’s 20 largest cities – while generating $8 billion in revenue for the City of San Antonio for more than seven decades. As a trusted and strong community partner, we continuously focus on job creation, economic development, and educational investment. True to our People First philosophy, we are powered by our skilled workforce, whose commitment to the community is demonstrated through our employees’ volunteerism in giving back to our city and programs aimed at bringing value to our customers. CPS Energy is among the top public power wind energy buyers in the nation and number one in Texas for solar generation.