Austin Energy completes summer weatherization, meets state regulations

As Central Texas nears triple-digit temperatures, Austin Energy’s power generation and transmission facilities stand ready for the heat.

The utility announced on Thursday it has completed its summer weatherization checklist and received the stamp of approval from ERCOT. 

Setting up power plant cooling systems is one of the measures taken ahead of summer.

"Any time you've got an energy transfer, there's going to be heat produced, and we use water to make sure that those facilities are cool enough to continue functioning," said Matt Mitchell, a spokesperson for Austin Energy.

However, Austin Energy’s power plants were built for the heat. 

"They’re ready for the hot summer in general," said Mitchell. "It's a little bit more problematic for winter because we've been seeing more and more extreme weather events in the wintertime, which is not something they were necessarily built to withstand."

The summer preparation begins once Central Texas gets through the cold and icy months. Austin Energy has to report to ERCOT by the end of May.


"So we're checking all of our equipment," said Mitchell. "We're making sure that everything, all our sensors, all our electronics, all of our reporting equipment, all our transmission substations and certainly our power generation stations are ready." 

Other summer preparations include conducting calibration checks on power generation equipment to ensure reliability during peak demand periods and hiring a utility supply chain manager to coordinate timely deliveries of fuel supplies.

Austin Energy encourages customers to conserve energy and save money this summer. Tips that the utility gives include:

  • Raise your thermostat by a few degrees intoe summer, and set your thermostat even higher when you are away for two hours or more on a hot day
  • Point fans in your direction to make temperatures around you feel about four degrees cooler, and switch ceiling fans on
  • Clean your A/C condenser/evaporator coils
  • Keep debris and high grass away from the A/C condenser
  • Close shades and curtains on windows hit by direct sunlight
  • Avoid turning on the oven or doing laundry during the hottest time of the day

Austin Energy is also promoting its Power Partner Thermostats program which provides customers with incentives for allowing the utility to adjust their thermostats on high demand days.

Those with certain medical conditions, may qualify for the City of Austin’s Medically Vulnerable Registry, which can allow for extra support during a power outage. 

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