Posts Tagged: rolling blackouts
100 Degrees Weather Spells for one Hot Summer in Dallas, Tx
We are barely out of May and the weather reports are already showing multi-day one hundred degrees weather. Our average here in Dallas, TX is not to hit the one hundred degree mark until July 1st, so we are already a month head of our already hot averages.
Besides ice cream, beach trips and shorts, we will be using a lot of electricity to keep cool . . . a lot more than you may realize. The extreme electricity usage will make our summer even hotter since officials are already talking about rolling black outs.
Why do we have rolling black outs
The short answer is usage. We are using more electricity and not building more power plants. Think about all the additional electronics you have in your house versus just ten years ago. Plus, here in the Dallas area, there are a lot more people moving to the area with no more power production.
With more people, more electronics per person, and even electric cars becoming more prevalent, it all adds up to a significant amount of electrical usage. When you combine these conditions, it is like a rolling snowball of energy usage. It gets bigger and bigger until something has to crash. Rolling black outs is a way to avoid the crash with small outages rather than big large scale disasters.
Electricity production has increased slightly, but we have closed three large coal power plants: Big Brown, Sandow and Monticello. That knocked out enough energy to power about two million homes. Closing coal plants is a national trend to help alleviate pollution, but it does nothing to make up for additional power needs. Other Texas projects like wind farms, are coming out but not enough to make up for three plant closures. (1)
Rolling black outs are a HIGH possibility in 2018
Texas’ grid operator is warning that there could be a risk of summer blackouts as the state’s power use is expected to reach new record levels. Texas faces looming hot weather, a growing population and electric generation margins — the difference between the power being generated and what’s being used by customers — that will tighten to the lowest they’ve been in years. (2)
The senior director also chimed in: “There is a possibility that we may have what are called rotating outages (in 2018),” said Dan Woodfin, ERCOT’s senior director of system operations. “Since we have more resources, that risk is probably reduced a little bit. But really, the focus for ERCOT is to make sure that we can quickly respond.” (3)
The way they will ‘respond quickly’ to high usage is to implement rolling black outs. You may not be affected at that moment, but once these black outs start, it is only a matter of time.
What happens to your electronics in a rolling black out
Many people may not realize that computers and cell phones can be greatly affected by a rolling black out. When the power goes off, it will cut out power to electronic devices. It is crucial that you unplug and turn off any electrical device immediately even if they are on batter power. Of course, you can leave your phone on, but make sure it is not plugged in to the wall or USB charger.
When the power comes back on there is sometimes a surge of energy. Surge protectors may stop the surge, but some powered devices can still be affected in times of Black Outs because of the way the energy is amped up.
Plus, it is suggested that you replace power surge protectors every two years. (4) If you are like most people, you probably don’t even remember when you bought them and they may not be doing you much good.
What to do in a rolling black out
First of all, be calm and patient. Depending on the demand, it could be out for only 15 minutes or longer if there are critical issues with the heat and power consumption. It could go off for hours if the energy usage has to be directed to emergency care facilities like hospitals or our growing senior facilities.
In summer electricity black outs you want to do the following:
- Take care of any children, elderly and pets to make sure they stay cool.
- Turn off all electronics AND you’re A/C. (You may want to leave a light on to know when it comes back on.)
- Use flashlights rather than candles to avoid more heat and possible fires.
- One quick tip: Do not open your fridge. If you need something, quickly open and shut it to conserve the food inside. If the electricity is off more than a couple of hours, you can begin to see food wastage.
You can AVOID a rolling BLACK OUT.
Many people see using generators as a great source of electricity. They go to the home supply store and pick up a gas generator. Those are good in general, but be aware of the carbon dioxide and poisonous air that is put out by a gasoline operated unit. These are not meant to be used indoors and they will not be much help in operating cooling systems like air conditioning. The best use of these is for single plug and short interval emergency usage.
If you want a more reliable, safer generator for your whole house consider a standby home generator. With a reliable standby generator, it comes on almost immediately if there is any change in the incoming electrical currents. Power is usually on within seconds of power going out.
If our electrical providers use rolling black outs as they have indicated, you don’t have to wait for them to restore electricity since yours will be on automatically with a whole house generator. When the electrical system restores electricity, your standby generator will sense the change and shift back to the system. You may not even notice the change.
Even when the heavy summer Texas thunderstorms hit, you are still covered all year round. A standby generator will keep your power on even if the whole city electricity goes off. If lighting crashes a power line and knocks out the whole nighborhood, you will still have electricity to keep you cool and your family safe. If a squirrel or car hits a power line and knocks out your block, you will still have electricity.
Call us today if you would like to get a standby home generator for your house. We offer a free site evaluation where we can talk to you about your options. Ryan Rendleman is a professional installer who will share with you the best, most cost effective way to protect your house in times of electrical outages. He should know since he has one in his house, too.
Call Ryan today at 214-207-0506