Pedernales Electric Cooperative announces service interruptions in Hill Country amid unprecedented cold weather

Sunrise on Feb. 15 revealed unusual amounts of snow had fallen overnight in western Travis County. Unprecedented cold temperatures and high demand for electricity has led the Pedernales Electric Cooperative to ask customers to reduce energy usage. (Greg Perliski/Community Impact Newspaper).
Sunrise on Feb. 15 revealed unusual amounts of snow had fallen overnight in western Travis County. Unprecedented cold temperatures and high demand for electricity has led the Pedernales Electric Cooperative to ask customers to reduce energy usage. (Greg Perliski/Community Impact Newspaper).

Sunrise on Feb. 15 revealed unusual amounts of snow had fallen overnight in western Travis County. Unprecedented cold temperatures and high demand for electricity has led the Pedernales Electric Cooperative to ask customers to reduce energy usage. (Greg Perliski/Community Impact Newspaper).

Frigid temperatures and high demand for electricity across Texas has led to emergency electric service operations in the Hill Country on Monday morning.

The Pedernales Electric Cooperative is asking customers across its service territory—which includes parts of Georgetown, Leander, Cedar Park, Austin, Lakeway, Dripping Springs, Buda, Kyle and San Marcos—to reduce demand and prepare for service interruptions to continue throughout the day, according to a news release from the utility.

“If an interruption occurs in your area, please take proactive steps for power restoration,” the release stated. “All electrical appliances affected by the service disruption should be turned off, as well as circuit breakers to major appliances. Once power is restored members can avoid electrical overload by turning their appliances back on in 15-minute intervals."

Across the state, demand for electricity is at an all-time high while at the same time electric utilities are struggling to keep enough generators operating, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which manages the electricity grid for Texas. Residents should expect emergency operations to continue through Tuesday, according to a statement on ERCOT's website.

"We are experiencing record-breaking electric demand due to the extreme cold temperatures that have gripped Texas," ERCOT President and CEO Bill Magness said in the statement posted on the website. "At the same time, we are dealing with higher-than-normal generation outages due to frozen wind turbines and limited natural gas supplies available to generating units. We are asking Texans to take some simple, safe steps to lower their energy use during this time."


PEC customers can keep up with the latest information from the utility at www.pec.coop.
By Greg Perliski
Greg edits Community Impact Newspaper's Lakeway/Lake Travis and Northwest Austin editions. During the course of his diverse career, he has written for newspapers, online publications and corporate communications teams. He earned a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin. You can reach him at [email protected]


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