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Conservation Alerts

About Winter Conservation Alerts

PowerfulAdvice uses a color-coded system to notify Texans of conditions on the electricity grid including conservation steps that Texans can take to reduce the chance of involuntary rolling outages being needed in the event an Electricity Emergency is declared.

Conservation Encouraged
Normal Conditions

On GREEN days, no Electricity Emergency is likely, but normal conservation measures are recommended as a means for reducing Texans' electricity bills. On GREEN days, some simple conservation steps, in conjunction with shopping for a lower cost electricity provider, can significantly reduce your electric bill.

  • Turn down your thermostat to 68° in the daytime and 55° at night or when you're away from home
  • Avoid using large appliances from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
  • Run only full loads in your washing machine and dishwasher.
  • Use the cold water setting on your clothes washer.
  • Unplug electronic devices you're not using.
  • Weatherize your home and seal air ducts.
  • Wrap your hot water tank with jacket insulation.
  • Go to www.powertochoose.org to see if you can save money by switching to a lower cost retail electricity provider. Your choice of electric provider does not affect the reliability of your electric service, the frequency or duration of outages, or the time it will take to have your electric service restored if an outage occurs.

Conservation Needed
Power Watch

On YELLOW days, extra conservation measures are urged because of a chance that electricity shortages may occur during the peak usage hours. A YELLOW Alert will be declared for days when temperatures statewide are expected to be extremely cold, leading to record or near-record electricity consumption. A YELLOW Alert will also be declared if high electricity demand and unexpected power plant outages cause a greater than normal chance of shortages. There is an expected or actual declaration of Level 1 of ERCOT's Energy Emergency Alert (EEA), which includes procurement of additional generation. An inability to obtain additional generation could lead to the declaration of EEA Level 1 which includes deployment of interruptible loads such as large industrial customers. Consumers are encouraged to reduce their electricity use as much as possible during the peak electricity usage hours from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

  • Turn down your thermostat to 68° in the daytime and 55° at night or when you're away from home.
  • Avoid using large appliances from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
  • Go to www.powertochoose.org to see if you can save money by switching to a lower cost retail electricity provider. Your choice of electric provider does not affect the reliability of your electric service, the frequency or duration of outages, or the time it will take to have your electric service restored if an outage occurs.

Conservation Critical
Power Warning

On RED days conservation is critical to avoid Electricity Emergencies and rolling outages which could lead to uncontrolled blackouts. Red alerts are declared when all interruptible loads have been deployed. Customers should reduce electricity usage as much as possible to avoid outages. During a RED alert ERCOT, will enter into level 2 of its Energy Emergency Alert (EEA) which includes the deployment of emergency interruptible loads.

  • Limit electricity usage to only consumption that is absolutely necessary. Turn off all unessential lights, appliances, and electronic equipment.
  • Do not use your dishwasher, laundry equipment, hair dryer, coffee maker, pool pump, or other home appliances between the hours of 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
  • When at home, open blinds and shades during sunny days to take advantage of the sun's natural heat. Turn down your thermostat to 68° in the daytime and 55° at night or when you're away from home.
  • Check out other no- or low-cost conservation tips or other energy efficiency improvements you can make to your home by clicking on the links to the right.
  • If rotating outages are ordered, they are designed to be limited in duration unless equipment trips due to a power surge during the restoration process.
  • Customers can minimize the chance that power surges will occur by turning off all appliances, lights, and other electrical equipment. Leave one task light on to determine when power has been restored.
  • Minimize unnecessary travel as traffic signals may go out of service resulting in traffic jams.

Power Emergency
Rotating Outages

A BLACK alert indicates that ERCOT has entered level 3 of its Energy Emergency Alert (EEA) and has initiated planned rolling outages in order to prevent an uncontrolled blackout. During a BLACK alert, customers need to reduce electricity consumption immediately to help reduce load.

  • Rotating outages are designed to be limited in duration unless equipment trips due to a power surge during the restoration process.
  • Customers can minimize the chance that power surges will occur by turning off all appliances, lights, and other electrical equipment. Leave one task light on to determine when power has been restored.
  • Minimize unnecessary travel as traffic signals may go out of service resulting in traffic jams.