In February, Texas was hit with the devastating snowstorm, Uri. The storm forced power outages throughout the state, leaving many Texans out of power when they needed it the most. Not only did Texans face difficulties powering their home, but once their bill came, they faced astronomical electricity prices. This is because Texas utilities charge for electricity based on supply and demand. According to the New York Times and The Washington Post, residents are seeing record high electricity bills, up to $17,000 after the storm. Even if the storm is over and the state is warming up again, the electricity crisis in Texas is not over.
Electricity crisis in Texas raised a conservation alert
Two months after the Texas blackout the Texas Electric Reliability Council (ERCOT) issued a conservation alert asking Texans to conserve as much electricity as possible. About 25% of power generating units are under maintenance, causing a shortage in power. The weather also turned out warmer than expected, so conditions were not ideal. They were concerned about demand causing another power outage. The conservation alert left Texans worried about grid reliability and more possible blackouts. The alert also raises questions about electricity rates. Texas utilities charge based on demand. Rates can fluctuate according to local power usage. This makes your energy bill unpredictable.
Texans are concerned about summer power outages
Although this alert was issued to protect the grid during maintenance, Texans are more concerned than ever about power outages. The unexpected snow storm shed light on the vulnerable grid. Ultimately it was the weather and increased demand that caused the blackout, and this demand could return. If a warm spring day could put stress on the grid, what could be expected in the summer? Texas is known to have long, hot summers, urging homeowners to keep the AC on. If all Texans try to cool their homes at once, this could prompt another blackout.
The conservation alert has ended, but there may be more
Just a day after the alert was released, ERCOT ended the appeal. They claimed there was no longer a concern for the weather. ERCOT claims they do not expect any other customer outages. However, there is still a concern after the winter electricity crisis in Texas. Many power plants are under maintenance, and the state hopes to repair storm damage done to them soon. As of April 13, 2021, there are approximately 32,000 MW of maintenance outages in the system. According to ERCOT, there is a possibility of more alerts on the horizon as they attempt to get the grid back to regular operation. Texans, especially homeowners are rightfully concerned about future blackouts. If you are a Texan homeowner, right now may be the time to protect your home against possible blackouts.
Solar protects your home against power outages
One of the advantages of going solar is the potential savings. By producing your own energy, you can avoid fluctuating energy rates. More importantly, if you install batteries you are protected from power outages. In the event of a blackout, you can keep your home powered with your stored energy. The amount of electricity stored depends on how many batteries you install and their capacity. Right now is the perfect time to install a solar system or add batteries. You can rest assured that in case of a summer or winter power outage, you will have power on reserve.