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Austin Energy asks residents to save electricity and avoid blackouts

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas and Austin energy are asking residents to conserve energy while they are staying home due to the cold weather, as electricity across the state is in high demand—possibly higher than reserves have.


In a press conference on Sunday, Austin Energy Chief Operating Officer Sidney Jackson said they have been able to dramatically reduce the number of homes without power from Saturday. As of noon Sunday, 131 homes were without power and as of 6 p.m., around 240 homes are without power. These numbers are down dramatically from more than 10,000 homes without power on Thursday.

With stormy weather approaching and most people taking shelter from the cold, officials are asking residents to voluntarily conserve energy by keeping thermostats below 68 degrees, unplugging nonessential items, avoiding use of large appliances, shutting blinds and turning off unneeded lights.

For safety reasons, Austin Energy recommends keeping your phone charged in case of a power outage in your area—you can report outages here and check the locations of power outages here.

As rumors of rolling outages—controlled temporary outages lasting 10-45 minutes to conserve energy circulating in West Texas—Austin Energy said they are prepared to conduct the outages if given orders from ERCOT.

Snow is coming down on some parts of Austin, and Austin Energy has dispatched crews to check on "known vulnerable areas" and is partnering with nearby hotels to get employees off the icy roads to sleep.

Austin will be under a winter storm warning until Monday at noon at the least.

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