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 Care & 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 event of prolonged outages.
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 email us.
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.
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.
*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 68° in the daytime and 55° at night or when you're away from home.
- 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.