CENTRAL TEXAS — The Electric Reliability Council of Texas -- or ERCOT -- has declared its highest emergency energy level for the state due to lower power supply and high demand due to the cold temperatures, and has instructed utility companies across the state to begin rotating power outages. These will be controlled, temporary interruptions of service, which rotate through different parts of the power grid. These outages are expected to last between 15 and 45 minutes in each area, but that may vary.
This is the first time ERCOT has reached its highest emergency level since February of 2011.
State officials had asked Texans to conserve as much electricity as they can safely. They say the demand could become even greater over the next few days.
Oncor advises its customers to turn off appliances, lights, and other equipment to prevent power surges.
IF you are without power for more than 45 minutes, you should report the outages to Oncor by calling 888-313-4747 or by texting "OUT" to 66267. It's not clear right now when the need for these rotating outages will end.