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How We Approach Load Shedding


It has been two years since the cold snap that led many of the state’s electric utilities, including Bandera Electric Cooperative, to implement load shedding, or rolling outages. State regulators and BEC have been working hard to prevent such a disaster from happening again.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas manages the flow of electric power to more than 26 million Texas customers, which represents about 90% of the state’s electric load, while the Southwest Power Pool manages most of the remainder of the power grid. As system operators, these regulators schedule power on an electric grid that connects thousands of miles of transmission lines and hundreds of generation units.

Texas’ main power grid is a network of more than 46,500 miles of long-distance, high-voltage transmission lines and substations that carry bulk electricity to multiple utilities for distribution to homes and businesses. The ERCOT grid, which has more than 86,000 megawatts of available generation capacity, delivers most of the electricity used by Texas consumers.

During times of high electricity usage, energy emergencies or other major events, ERCOT or SPP may request that we alert our members and ask them to conserve energy.

Energy conservation measures include:
  • Turning down thermostats to 68 degrees in the winter.
  • Turning off and unplugging nonessential lights and appliances.
  • Avoiding using large appliances such as ovens and washing machines.
  • Businesses minimizing the use of electric lighting and other equipment.
  •  Large consumers of electricity shutting down or reducing nonessential production processes.
As a last resort during energy emergencies or other major events, the grid operator may instruct utilities, including BEC, to reduce consumer demand for electricity by shedding load through implementing outages, also known as curtailment.

We will only curtail power to members during emergency situations that require a reduction in load to prevent the system from failing or to prevent damage to equipment and property. The co-op’s priority will be to shed load in the following order:
  1. Outdoor, flood and street lighting.
  2. Oil field and irrigation loads.
  3. Schools and churches (except those used for emergency shelter).
  4. Industrial loads.
  5. Commercial loads.
  6. Residential loads.
  7. Medical priority accounts (members with life-sustaining equipment) and critical, industrial or other loads, according to state law.
Should conditions exist whereby rolling curtailments can achieve the necessary reduction in power required, efforts will be made to limit the duration of outages for residential loads. However, due to variable and unpredictable circumstances, BEC cannot guarantee a specific time frame for such curtailments.
We always will attempt to inform members in advance of planned outages or rolling curtailments but cannot guarantee that advance notice will be possible.

Posted: 2/17/2023 10:37:35 AM
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