The Electric Reliability Council of Texas

ERCOT oversees more than 90% of Texas' power load.

ERCOT is responsible for monitoring the majority of the state's power grid and ensuring there is adequate power supply to meet consumer demand. As in the past, ERCOT will issue alerts and declare energy emergencies if needed. Alerts help consumers, including Medina EC members, know that conservation is needed. Declaring an emergency allows the grid operator to take advantage of additional resources. If grid conditions continue to worsen, the grid operator can implement forced outages across the state.

What are Forced Outages?

Forced outages are load shed events controlled by ERCOT to reduce the demand of electricity on the power grid. They may also be referred to as blackouts, brownouts, or controlled outages. Load shed events occur when the demand for electricity exceeds the power supply available and voluntary conservation efforts were not enough to reduce the strain on the electric grid. ERCOT will require forced outages on electric consumers to reduce the demand of electricity to maintain the integrity of the electric grid.

When forced outages (load shed events) occur, Medina EC must comply with the load shed procedures as instructed by ERCOT. Medina EC will not be able to tell members if, when or how long they will be without power during a load shed event.

 

Critical Infrastructure Designation

If you believe your account meets the requirements for non-residential critical load status (Critical Load Public Safety, Critical Load Industrial, and Critical Load Natural Gas Supply), please submit the appropriate documentation at regular intervals as required by the Railroad Commission of Texas reflecting critical status to BusinessDevelopment@MedinaEC.org. Critical infrastructure designation does not stop outages. Your account could still be included in an emergency load shed event and is still subject to localized outages. If your facility must be capable of operating around the clock, you should install backup power. 

 

Life Support

If someone in your home depends on an electrically operated health aid, sign up for Medina EC's Life Support Registry. To sign up for the registry, you must complete the form on our website and submit a physician's directive prescription. Please note, Medina EC's Life Support Registry does not guarantee there will be no power interruptions. Power outages happen for many reasons that may be out of the cooperative's control. It is recommended for members on the Life Support Registry to ensure they have secondary power or a back up plan in the even of prolonged outages.

 

Notifications

As always, Medina EC will monitor ERCOT grid conditions and conservation requests or energy emergencies. If emergency requests that involve forced outages for consumers are made by ERCOT, Medina EC will comply with those as required and will send notifications as quickly as humanly possible*. Please ensure the contact information on your account are correct. You can do that through SmartHub or by calling us at 1-866-632-3532.

Notifications include:

  • Email to accounts with email addresses on file.

  • Social media posts.

  • News item to our website.

  • Text messages to consumers signed up for MEC ERCOT text notifications. Sign up by texting ERCOT to 1-855-429-1119.

You are also encouraged to sign up to receive push notifications directly from ERCOT. You can do this by downloading the ERCOT app (Google Play or App Store) and enable push notifications for alerts.

ERCOT relased a communications tool that delivers clear and reliable information on ERCOT grid conditions. Sign up for the Texas Advisory and Notification System (TXANS) here. TXANS will serve as a resource to the public to follow ERCOT grid conditions, introduce ERCOT Weather Watch, inform the public on gid condition levels and of any public action needed, and keep all Texans informed through various communications channels. 

 

*Please note: Notices are sent out as quickly as humanly possible, but the situation on the grid can change very quickly. If ERCOT's reserve margins reach critical condition and ERCOT calls for load shed, the outages may begin before all notifications are able to be sent out. Phone lines are likely to be overwhelmed.

 

During Load Shed Events

During load shed events, we are unable to tell you when you will be without power, how long the forced outages will last or when power will be restored since those answers depend on many factors outside of Medina Electric's control. Things in the energy market can change very quickly. We will share the most current information we have received from ERCOT with you.

While you are without power, we ask that you turn your AC unit and any other large appliances or motors to the OFF position. Because those items use large amounts of electricity when power comes back on, turning them off helps prevent the system from being overloaded when power is restored. Overloading on the system can cause additional outages.

Electric utilities will prioritize continuity of service for certain members whose service is critical to the community during an emergency or those whose service provides major support to the integrity of the electric system during an emergency.

 

When You Have Power:

Please help by conserving electricity in any way you can. This is important as long as ERCOT forced outages are in place.

Spring and Summer Conservation Tips:

  • Turn up your thermostat 2-3 degrees from 3 to 7 p.m.; Adjust the thermostat even higher if no one will be home during the day.

  • If home, use fans to feel 4-6 degrees cooler. Turn the fans off if no one is in the room.

  • Set pool pumps to run early morning or overnight; program them to shut off from 3 to 7 p.m., since these are typically peak hours for summer months.

  • Turn off and unplug non-essential lights and appliances.

  • Avoid using large appliances, especially during peak hours.

  • Businesses should minimize the use of electric lighting and electricity-consuming equipment as much as possible.

  • Large consumers of electricity should consider shutting down or reducing non-essential production processes.

Winter Conservation Tips:

  • Turn down your thermostat to one to two degrees or more if possible.

  • When at home, open blinds and shades during sunny days to take advantage of the sun's natural heat.

  • Close shades and blinds at night to reduce the amount of heat lost through windows.

  • Turn off and unplug non-essential lights and appliances.

  • Avoid using large appliances.

  • Businesses should minimize the use of electric lighting and electricity-consuming equipment as much as possible.

  • Large consumers of electricity should consider shutting down or reducing non-essential production processes.

 

Please know that our staff is always working hard behind the scenes; we know members expect the lights to come on when they flip the switch, and our staff wants the same. We will always do our best to restore power as quickly as safely possible.