Local partners ask residents to conserve and prepare for power outages

Published on August 24, 2023

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Local partners ask residents to conserve energy and prepare for ERCOT-ordered power outages

NOTE: Information Current as of 5 p.m.

SAN ANTONIO (Aug. 24, 2023) – The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is forecasting tight energy grid conditions and is asking Texans to conserve power and be prepared. There is a strong possibility of power outages throughout San Antonio and statewide this afternoon and evening. Local partners are also urging residents to prepare now. 

According to CPS Energy, ERCOT expects operating reserves to be low for several hours this afternoon into the evening due to low wind power generation and high energy demand.

“I want to be very clear,” Mayor Ron Nirenberg said, “this is a statewide issue and not a result of generation issues with CPS Energy. The demand for energy across all of Texas is outpacing the state’s generation capacity. In load shed events, all ERCOT members must participate in rolling outages.”

Some ways residents can reduce demand and conserve energy are:

  • Raise thermostats, if safe to do so.
  • Avoid using large appliances such as washers, dryers and ovens.

The probability for outages could occur through 10 p.m. tonight. The outages are expected to last in 15-minute increments. The City wants its residents to be prepared. Here are five ways to prepare your household for a power outage.

  1. Remain Calm. Follow instructions from officials and local authorities. 
  2. Find An Alternate Power Source. Plan for batteries and alternative power sources to meet your needs when the power goes out, such as a portable charger or power bank. Have flashlights ready. Remember, never use a generator indoors.
  3. Know Your Medical Needs. If you rely on electricity for any medical needs, make a power outage plan for medical devices or refrigerated medicines. Find out how long medication can be stored at higher temperatures and get specific guidance for any medications that are critical for life.
  4. Appliances. Disconnect appliances and electronics to avoid damage from electrical surges.
  5. Food Storage. Keep freezers and refrigerators closed. A refrigerator will keep food cold for four hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours. If you are in doubt, monitor temperatures with a thermometer and throw out food if the temperature is 40 degrees or higher. Maintain a few days’ supply of nonperishable food and water.

Places to Stay Cool

Many of the City of San Antonio’s libraries, community centers and senior centers are available for residents who need a place to stay cool. Hours of operation have been extended through 9 p.m. VIA will provide no-cost transportation. A complete list of locations can be found here.

The City of San Antonio’s Council District 2 Budget Town Hall meeting previously scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 24 has been postponed. A new date and time will be determined. 

The San Antonio Water System (SAWS) is working closely with CPS Energy and the City of San Antonio to identify ways to reduce energy use at our facilities during peak hours. By using backup generators and turning off non-critical processes, SAWS can save between 8-10 megawatts. In addition, despite a 40 percent cutback of Edwards permits by the Edwards Aquifer Authority, SAWS can meet the water needs of our customers by using our diversified water supply portfolio. SAWS encourages its customers to also reduce energy demands by following Stage 2 watering rules. Customers can learn to save water and reduce bills by following tips at gardenstylesanantonio.com.