HOUSTON - Millions of Texans were left without power amid freezing weather this week. Some outages lasted for multiple days.
The number of outages across the had dropped below 200,000 on Friday, down from more than 4 million outages reported on Tuesday.
POWER OUTAGES: To track the latest power outages click here.
LATEST FROM CENTERPOINT:
At the peak of this event, approximately 1.4 million total customers were impacted by the severe winter weather event across CenterPoint Energy’s service territory. As of 8:30 a.m. Friday, approximately 1.39 million customers have been restored.
CenterPoint Energy says more than 99% of their customers currently have electric service, with less than 7,000 customers to be restored.
"We appreciate our customers’ patience and will continue to work hard to restore service as safely and quickly as possible," said Kenny Mercado, CenterPoint Energy’s Executive Vice President, Electric Utility. "From elected officials and first responders, to community members who volunteered their time, we would also like to recognize the countless people who have answered the call during our area’s time of need. CenterPoint Energy’s employees will continue to work around the clock to serve our customers. It is a privilege to work with such a dedicated team."
CenterPoint Energy says customer outage numbers will continue to stabilize as the company works diligently and focuses on the remaining isolated outages, which in some cases can be attributed to damaged equipment from the severe winter weather event.
The company says the majority of these outages are expected to be restored by the end of the day. In other instances, outages may be attributed to routine service issues that occur on CenterPoint Energy’s system. The company says they will also be focused on addressing these outages as safely and quickly as possible.
The company also reminded customers to remain prepared for the potential for additional outages if CenterPoint Energy is once again directed by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) to reduce electricity on its system due to issues with generation capacity. CenterPoint Energy says the company does not generate its own power, and outages due to the lack of generation availability are out of the company’s control.
Mercado added, "To help those in neighboring service territories in need, we will send our mutual assistance resources to support electric restoration efforts in other areas of the state impacted by the severe winter weather. As Texans, we want to do our part to help our fellow Texans."
LATEST FROM ERCOT:
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) says it has ended emergency conditions and is back to normal operations. They are no longer asking for energy conservation.
ERCOT says no additional outages were needed overnight to keep power supply and electric demand in balance, and only a few generating units tripped.
Electric utilities continue to address remaining customer outages. ERCOT says customers should contact their electric provider if they are without power.
ERCOT says customers that are without power likely fall into one of these three categories:
• Areas out due to ice storm damage on the distribution system
• Areas that were taken out of service due to the energy emergency load shed that need to be restored manually (i.e., sending a crew to the location to reenergize the line)
• Large industrial facilities that voluntarily went offline to help during this energy emergency
As of 7:30 a.m. Friday, approximately 34,000 MW of generation remains on forced outage due to this winter weather event. Of that, nearly 20,000 MW is thermal generation and the rest is wind and solar.
LATEST FROM TEXAS GOVERNOR GREG ABBOTT:
Texas Governor Greg Abbott stated on Thursday that he is considering executive orders to speed up the process of restoring water to Texans. He also put in a request to President Biden to make a major disaster declaration, which will give residents the ability to get funding from FEMA to help cover costs private insurance can't.
"We will not stop until normalcy is restored in your lives," Gov. Abbott said.
Gov. Abbott says reforming ERCOT will be a priority for his administration. He says the CEO of ERCOT told the state of Texas that they were ready for the cold temperatures heading to the state. According to Gov. Abbott, ERCOT assured the public there would be enough power to meet demand this winter.
Gov. Abbott says ERCOT failed and Texans will get answers why. He is making sure emergency items are being sent to the state legislature during their next legislative session. Those emergency items will kickstart an investigation into the ERCOT debacle. He will also be asking that the legislature mandate winterization of generators are complete every year. He's also calling for funding to make that happen.
LATEST FROM HOUSTON MAYOR SYLVESTER TURNER:
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner says he spoke with the head of ERCOT Thursday morning who said they had given the green light to energy providers to restore all of the power outages from Monday.
He said there are some exceptions, like in the case of a blown transformer.
"He did indicate to me this morning that they had brought on more generation, more power, and that those power outages would be restored," Mayor Turner said.
The mayor says it is still a "somewhat uncertain sort of situation."
"What I mean by that, they have brought on a lot of generation very quickly. That doesn’t mean there won’t continue to be some power outages. Certainly may not last as long," the mayor says.
He says there may also be some instances in which an electric company is asked to shed some power.
Although the mayor says the situation is much better today than it was yesterday, he encourages residents to continue conserving electricity.
LATEST FROM HARRIS COUNTY JUDGE LINA HIDALGO:
On Thursday afternoon, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said the lights were back on in most of the county.
Ahead of another hard freeze, she reminded the public to do what they could to conserve.
The Public Utility Commission of Texas ordered early Thursday morning that a rotating power outage for a customer cannot last more than 12 hours.