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Posted on: February 15, 2021

CoServ Update: Power Outages Expected to Continue in Statewide Power Emergency

EMERGENCY UPDATE: Conservation still critical. Expect colder weather and more, possibly longer outages in the coming days as we (CoServ) work to help stabilize the grid.

(February 15, 2021 - 10:30 p.m.) The following are important updates from CoServ regarding the unprecedented winter storm that prompted ERCOT to declare a statewide power emergency and order all electric utilities in Texas to begin rotating outages.


Winter Outage Outlook: Where we stand now, and what to expect in the coming days

  • As of 7:30 p.m. Monday, statewide outages ordered by Electric Reliability Council of Texas to maintain the stability of the electric grid are continuing.
  • According to ERCOT, conditions may improve within the next 24 hours. However, a Winter Storm Warning remains in effect through 6 a.m. Thursday. Temperatures are forecast to remain below freezing during this period.  CoServ is advising all Members to prepare for potential outages over the next several days.
  • If CoServ Members or Customers are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, we are encouraging them, as we always do, to call 911.
Based on thousands of emails, phone calls and social media posts, here is a brief FAQ featuring the Top 3 Questions that customers had for us (CoServ) Monday:


Why have I experienced several outages while others have experienced one or fewer?
Load is shed by feeder, with priority given to feeders based on public health and safety, such as hospitals, nursing homes and fire departments. Please note that we could be required to shed this critical load, as well, and have been communicating with hospitals, nursing homes and fire departments.

When will my power be restored? 
That is unknown. CoServ does not know when ERCOT may lift the order for rotating outages. As ERCOT allows utilities to restore load, we will do so. At the beginning of this emergency, we expected individual outages to be approximately 30 minutes. However, as the amount of load to shed was increased, the duration of the outages increased. Should ERCOT increase the amounts of load that CoServ is required to shed from the current levels, you should expect the duration of your outage to increase.

Why did this happen? 
The sustained, historic low temperatures resulted in record electricity use. When it comes to electricity, demand must always equal supply. If demand outstrips supply, the potential exists for the entire electric grid to collapse. To prevent this, ERCOT has a system of rotating outages – temporary, controlled events designed to maintain grid stability and prevent an uncontrolled event from happening. While the past few days have been stressful and uncomfortable, the alternative to these outages – an uncontrolled event resulting in a true blackout – is far worse and would result in extended restoration times.

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