Monday, almost 3 million Texans were without power, as energy companies under the direction of ERCOT enacted controlled outages in an attempt to protect the grid.
"If we don’t have more supply, the only thing we can start to do is reduce demand for supply on the system." explained Dan Woodfin, senior director of system operations at ERCOT.
Woodfin said energy demand is far exceeding supply due to severe weather, freezing wind turbines and natural gas restrictions.
Typically "controlled outages" are brief, lasting roughly an hour, and rotate. But, because demand is so extreme, controlled outages are expected to last through Monday night and likely all day Tuesday. Power companies are prioritizing areas with hospitals, police and fire stations, and other similar outlets.
ERCOT is asking anyone with power to reduce intake. Residents are asked to set their thermostats no higher than 68 degrees, close their blinds and curtains, unplug unused electronics and avoid using large appliances, such as the dishwasher and washing machine.
Customers without power are recommended to close blinds or curtains to keep heat in, close off rooms to avoid wasting heat, wear layers of loose, lightweight, warm clothing. It is also recommended they eat and drink while avoiding alcohol and caffeine and stuff towels or rags under cracks indoors.