KERRVILLE, Texas — As the temperatures get lower, the power consumption on the grid increases, putting more of a load on the local power grid.
KPUB is asking residents to take some steps to reduce power consumption in order to reduce the risk of power interruptions as the Hill Country is set to plunge into single-digit temperatures.
According to KPUB, the following steps can help reduce the overall power load and help keep the grid functioning properly over the next few days.
Lower thermostats to 68 degrees or under. Bundle up for warmth with clothing and blankets. Avoid using major appliances and the stove or oven. Turn off unused lights, small appliances, and electronics. Also, keep your cell phone fully charged in case there is an outage.
KPUB has taken steps to begin preparations for this round of extreme winter weather and says that they are well prepared to respond and resolve any weather-related outages.
The following is a run-through of events that KPUB has handled since this extreme winter weather began, taken from a KPUB press release.
On Thursday, the utility responded to ten separate outages beginning at 2:43 p.m. that were all weather-related, resulting in 1401 customers losing power throughout the day. The outages were primarily in the Hunt service area.
On Friday, the largest outage of the day began at 7:27 a.m. that affected 663 customers due to a downed power line from icy weather conditions on Sidney Baker Highway near the Kerrville Police Station. The power line fed into Jack-in-the-Box, which had to be isolated for repairs to be made. Power was restored to all remaining 662 customers in just 45 minutes by 8:12 a.m., and Jack-in-the-Box had power fully restored later in the day.
KPUB reports that nine smaller additional outages happened throughout the day, resulting in 97 additional customers losing power due to trees or ice conditions. As of 7:20 p.m. on Friday, none of KPUB’s customers were experiencing power outages within its service area.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) manages the flow of electric power to more than 26 million Texas customers—representing about 90 percent of the state’s electric load. ERCOT predicts record electric use through Tuesday, February 16, and has issued an advisory watch for extreme cold weather. To help conserve energy in these harsh winter conditions, KPUB recommends that customers utilize the following energy-saving tips:
- Set your thermostat as low as you can comfortably do so (ideally at 68 degrees or under).
- Avoid using major appliances if possible (save the dishes and laundry for other times).
- Avoid cooking on the stove or oven (opt for the microwave instead!)
- Bundle up and utilize clothing and blankets for additional warmth.
- Turn off unused lights and unplug any unused small appliances and electronic devices.
KPUB also recommends that customers keep their cellphone devices fully charged during extreme weather events and be prepared with safety kits that include spare flashlights, batteries, candles and a battery-powered cellphone charging device. Additional tips can be found on KPUB’s website at https://www.kpub.com/cold-weather-safety-tips/.
If a KPUB customer is experiencing an outage, they can report the outage 24/7 by:
- Contacting our outage line at 830.257.2883.
- Through SmartHub via the utility’s app or online account management.
- NEW! Or through text if they are a SmartHub user with a single account and up-to-date contact information by texting the word OUT to our SMS phone #768482.
KPUB’s outage map and additional outage tips and information can be found online at https://www.kpub.com/support/outages/.
Jam Broadcasting will keep you updated with pertinent information throughout the duration of these severe weather events in the Texas Hill Country.
Hear the latest weather updates from Meteorologist, Dr. Doppler on 94.3 Rev-FM, 99.1 Mike FM, and 103.7 The Buck three times an hour, stay warm, and stay safe.