Texans encouraged to conserve as rolling blackouts continue *Updated*

Update: Grid operators have called an end to the cold weathered induced power emergency, saying the rolling blackouts that have hit many hundreds of thousands of customers should be coming to an end.

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Texas electric customers are encouraged to continue to conserve power into the afternoon as a number of power plants around the state are still offline due to the cold snap.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas said the size of the rotating outages has been cut in half as of noon to about 2,000 megawatts. Earlier this morning local line operations, such as CenterPoint in Houston and ONCOR in Dallas, were asked to use rolling blackouts to cut up to 4,000 megawatts of demand from the system.

A higher-than expected surge in power use due to the cold weather, combined with up to 50 power generating units going offline unexpectedly, led to the emergency.

In Houston about one-sixth of area power customers — about 330,000 homes and businesses — were experiencing temporary blackouts this morning.

The situation is expected to continue to improve as more power plants are brought back online. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is waiving air permitting requirements that might prevent power generators from producing power during the emergency, according to a notice from ERCOT.

The rotating outages are controlled, temporary interruptions of electric service, typically lasting 10 to 45 minutes per neighborhood, but some Houston area neighborhoods are reporting longer outages. They are designed to prevent a larger, system-wide failure.

The rotating outages started statewide around 5:30 a.m., with local power line operators asked to shed 4,000 megawatts of load.

CenterPoint’s share of that figure was about 1,050 megawatts, but CenterPoint spokeswoman Leticia Lowe said the company has been allowed to cut back on the size of its rolling blackouts slightly.

CenterPoint predetermined which circuits and power lines would be systematically shut down or curtailed temporarily across its service territory to reduce usage. The company isn’t turning power off to critical facilities, such as hospitals, water treatment plants and other vital public services.

CenterPoint says it isn’t able to warn customers ahead of time if their power is being turned off. A spokesman for the Houston Indenpendent School District said a number of HISD schools lost power without warning today and they have no guidance on if it will happen at other schools.

“If they know what areas will be losing power, it would be a big help if we could get a heads-up,” said HISD spokesman Jason Spencer.

Did you have your power shut off this morning? Let us know below.

260 Comments

  1. Eli

    Isn’t it nice to know that we pay these bureaucrats to NOT have something like this happen. What do they do, build power plants that operate only in nice weather? Including “reliability” in ERCOT’s name seems like an oxymoron.

    What happens when areas such as the northern plains and the central U.S. have winter temperatures in the minus degrees. Do they start rolling black outs? NO!

    What’s wrong with Texas’ commissions? Why don’t we make them responsible to the voters? ERCOT is a disaster!

    #1
  2. L

    Well the northern plains have way less population than texas does. Their houses are better built for the cold (i.e. better insulation and windows/doors so their houses are more efficient) and generally run gas heat not electric. So overall their electrical systems have way less load than TX ones.

    Just be grateful that there are just these small 10-30 minute blackouts, rather than being without power for days.

    And turn your thermostat down some to help in creating less demand.

    #2
  3. Melissa

    I live in Magnolia, Texas, and we have been without power for 3 hours now. So much for “limited to 45 minutes”!

    #3
  4. Cindy

    If you’ve been out for 3 hours, you need to report it to CNP – 713.207.2222. Its something other than the rolling blackout causing your outage.

    #4
  5. Jen

    I sent an e-mail to the “media relations” contact at ERCOT (as well as to Centerpoint) to let them know what BS this is that they didn’t inform us last night that this was a possibility and I got the usual mumbo jumbo press release as a response. Nice.

    #5
  6. jm

    I would be really nice if Centerpoint could let us know which areas are scheduled for rolling black-outs in the future since they had “pre-determined” which circuits would be shut down.

    #6
  7. Rick Lowell

    TUC and all other Texas Boards with politically appointed boards of idiots are a sick joke on the people.

    #7
  8. Bryce

    We live in Magnoia, Texas at 1488 and 2978. Power went off at 7:15 when trying to get ready for school (eat breakfast, get lunch ready, dress, etc)…great timing on the rolling outage. It is now 10:30 and still NO power. Maybe someone needs a new battery for their watch!

    #8
  9. Danno

    I live in Pasadena and we have been rolled four times this morning….

    I wonder if River Oaks has been rolled yet or how about the parts of town where energy executive live?

    #9
  10. willrogers

    We have become a third world nation, especially here in Texas where corporations have bought out our government.

    #10
  11. SGH

    I live in Bellaire, and we lost power at 10:30 last night after three momentary blackouts. It came on momentarily during the night but that didn’t last long, and it came back on at 5:30 this morning.

    #11
  12. Richard

    I live in Magnolia as well, and this is ridiculous. I understand why these outages occur, but I find it quite interesting that places such as The Woodlands have not had an outage yet today. I wonder how ERCOT decides which locations will have sustained outages and which locations won’t be affected at all…bull butter.

    #12
  13. dsm

    The reason we’re having rolling blackouts right now when we don’t during 100+ degree days is that the State is experiencing Natural Gas curtailments which are cutting off supplies to a number of power plants (about 40% of the State’s power comes from Natural Gas). In the winter residential users consume a lot of natural gas to heat their homes (business do as well but it doesn’t change that much seasonally) and the pipelines can’t supply all the consumers as well as the power plants at the same time so the plants are forced either to shut down or at least reduce power output. When it’s 100 degrees no one is heating their home (naturally) and the pipelines are available to fully carry the Natural Gas required by the power plants which is why a few days of freezing temperatures can disrupt the power grid a lot more than a heat wave – at least in Texas…

    #13
  14. Hugh

    Glorious capitalist distribution system! You have option to buy generator as long as you pay capitalist tax.

    #14
  15. JJ

    We lost power for well over an hour this morning – it was off at a little after 5:00 when I was awakened by my house alarm chirping and did not come back on until around 6:45. By 7:30 it was off again and had still not come back on by the time I left for work at 8:15. I don’t know where they are getting this 10-45 minutes number, but I think it’s fair to say that it is inaccurate.

    My issue isn’t that they are doing the rolling blackouts – it’s that such a plan wasn’t communicated at all yesterday, when I could have better prepared myself for the possibility that our power would be off when I was trying to get up and get ready for work. I could have taken a shower last night, set a cell phone alarm, etc. Instead, I find out this morning, after the city is thrown into near chaos, that they are purposefully blacking out whole neighborhoods. Simply pitiful communication skills on the part of ERCOT and Centerpoint.

    #15
  16. Pat

    Will somebody please investigate this? During last summer there was a 6,000 megawatt reserve at the extreme peak. Then another 8,000 in capacity reserve. And we all know energy usage during the cold does not even come close to summer A/C energy demands.

    We either lost a lot more than 7,000 megawatts or there’s market manipulation ala Enron style.

    #16
  17. Doug

    Tillman Ferttita pays $330,000 a year in property taxes. I think he’s earned the right to keep his power on. I pay $18,000 a year in property taxes. I shouldn’t be without power longer than someone who pays $3000 a year in property taxes or no property taxes at all.

    #17
  18. ashley

    Bunch of freaking crybabies.

    #18
  19. Randy

    We’ve been hit 3 times this morning starting at 5:30 a.m. Each one lasting atleast 40 minutes.

    #19
  20. Bill in Houston

    That “limited to 45 minutes” claim is bull.

    So far this morning my office has had 30 minutes, ONE HOUR, and then 30 minutes. This happened at 7AM, 8AM, and 10AM, respectively.

    We expect the next one to be at 11AM or noon, depending on length.

    I hope this doesn’t happen tomorrow and that Centerpoint gets their act together.

    #20
  21. Matt

    45 minutes is BS. We go down for an hour, are up for 15 mins and down for another hour. I have young kids at home and our indoor temp is now in the 50s. No prior notification from anyone. I will sign on to a class action if there is any damage from them playing their little game.

    #21
  22. Joe

    Our house was rolled twice, and a coworker three times. Nothing at the office yet. Nothing like spreading the wealth.

    #22
  23. Cold

    Monopoly!

    #23
  24. RJK

    Magnolia may not be in Centerpoint’s service area. Maybe Entergy?

    #24
  25. Thunderbolt

    We’re in the 77373 zip code (Spring/Humble) area – about 3 miles north of IAH. We haven’t been hit yet, but I recon we’ll see outages before it warms up this weekend, especially if we get snow come Friday. Ugh.

    #25
  26. T

    I agree with Jim. If Centerpoint has “predetermined” the areas that will be systematically shut down, then posting those areas and scheduled shut-downs, or otherwise notifying customers, would be extremely helpful and would make the whole situation more tolerable.

    #26
  27. Elizabeth

    Magnolia is experiencing an outage from a power plant failure in North Texas. MISD sent an e-mail stating that they expected the power back on by noon. Schools are still open right now.

    #27
  28. Rob

    If we can’t generate enough power to run everyone’s heaters when it gets cold, imagine what will happen when we all try to charge those new electric cars we’re supposed to be using…

    #28
  29. Luis Barroilhet

    From Sugar Land, three outages so far, each lasting less than one hour. It would be nice if they announced these in order to shut off varios appliances, computers, etc. ahead of time.

    #29
  30. Richard

    This is a serious matter, forget Egypt. I can’t power up my flat screen and watch Oprah re-runs for a few hours. Revolt!!!

    #30
  31. Long Tall Texan

    Coincidentally, there is a very interesting article about Texas Energy Deregulation in today’s Wall Street Journal. Here’s the link:http://www.businesspundit.com/texas-electricity-deregulation/

    #31
  32. Lori

    I live by the Galleria. We’ve been out twice this morning, but only for 15 or 20 minutes each time. Not too bad so far. Let’s hope the warm weather hurries back!

    #32
  33. Matt

    Insert generic complaint regarding how my situation is worse than everyone else’s. Generic comment about why I shouldn’t have to be affected. More generic complaints about how the system should be designed to accommodate events two deviations from the norm without raising costs to the consumer. Blah, blah, blah, woe is me.

    #33
  34. Andy

    Eli, ERCOT doesn’t build or own power plants, private companies mostly or municipal and cooperative utilities do. ERCOT manages the electric transmission grid. When the privately owned power plants can’t generate enough power, they have to cut off load in order to prevent an entire system collapse.

    #34
  35. r9

    Seems we have ppl on both sides of the fence.
    1 thing seems to be agreed…the public is not being informed.

    My $.02…nobody will lose their job over this… So no problem exists.
    ppl must die before everyone gets solid on it.

    So sad we seem to have no knowledge of history…or backbone to take action before there is a crisis..

    My vote…strive for independent low-cost power, accept nothing less than 99.999 uptime, all blackouts must be scheduled and published to allow the ppl to prepare.

    #35
  36. Jane Zacha

    Power has been interrupted at least four times this morning…about 30 to 45 minutes each. The house doesn’t have time to even warm up between outages. It is currently 54 degrees in my kitchen

    #36
  37. John Hayes

    I don’t know if River Oaks has been rolled or not, but West University and Southgate (where a lot of “energy executives live as well!) has been rolled off four times since 7:00 this morning, usually for ~15-30 minutes each.

    #37
  38. dylan

    i live in pearland and i was freezing cold, our lights went out around 6 till about 8 this morning

    #38
  39. Harper

    My wife and daughter in NW Houston are at home where the power has been shut off for four 45 minute stretches since 6:30 am. I haven’t had a glitch at all closer to the energy corridor. Seems unfair to keep hitting one area like that.

    #39
  40. Angela Martin

    I am just scared to get in an elevator

    #40
  41. Lori

    Just as I started to type this, the power is off again for the third time in Missouri City. Some advance warning about the rolling black outs would have been much appreciated!!!

    #41
  42. KB

    Great. I was literally about to have a 4D ultrasound, pants rolled down, TV on, and power went off. Waited for 30 minutes with a full bladder to see if power would be back on, in a very cold room and nothing happened. Today was not the day to see my baby.

    #42
  43. Ross

    There might be a power outage in Katy

    Should we evacuate

    #43
  44. Kimberly

    Good morning! I drove in to teach at St. Agnes Academy this morning at 6:50am and the electricity shut off until about 8:45am. Power has returned for the time being. I’m happy to take turns sharing power with others if this helps to prevent a black out.

    #44
  45. First Ammendment

    Rick Perry appoints ERCOT Board. If your power goes out complain to the Governor that his appointments are NOT doing their job of providing power.

    #45
  46. Jason

    Glad to see only one comment like Doug–pointing out that the rich people should be inconvenienced less than the poor people that pay less money in taxes. Are you serious, Doug? That is a very non-democratic comment. Perhaps you should find a non-democratic country to live in?!?!

    #46
  47. Andrew

    Thanks for the explanation, dsm. I was wondering.

    #47
  48. Joe

    Three times now. How about sharing the wealth

    #48
  49. Vernon Williams

    Since 6:30 this morning, my power has been off 3 times, for about an hour and forty minutes total. That’s neary 2 hours out of a little over 4 hours. As someone who uses my computer to work from home, this is a major pain. That seems like excessive targeting for my neighborhood. They need to spread it out more. The article said 1/6 of customers would have blackouts. If they are going to do it, they should do it to everybody except critical facilities, to lessen the individual effects.

    #49
  50. WTF

    WTF? It is 27 degrees, not -14 …. rolling blackout in North Texas, please!

    #50
  51. Dan

    You people are insane and spoiled, God forbid you go 30min to 3hrs without power and can’t see your Cheerios. No infrastructure system can be designed perfect and in order to keep costs reasonable for customers paying for these services, certain concessions have to be made to the infrastructure (such as sacrificing reinforced design – higher costs – in turn for a possible 3hr blackout once every few years).

    Will, 3rd world nation huh?, that’s what you think we are? Most of them have full power 365 days a year – you’re right on with that comment.

    #51
  52. Ann

    What is going on? It’s not like we’ve never seen 20 degrees before in Houston. I’ve been outside this morning. It’s not THAT cold for crying out loud.

    #52
  53. Bobbie

    Wow! What a bunch of wimpy, self-centered, sufferering victims we are! How dare THEY turn off MY power for 45 minutes to prevent a massive breakdown of the electricity!

    #53
  54. kathiekay

    Had power in Spring Branch when I left home at 0615

    #54
  55. Herschel

    Yeah I was getting ready for work today and the power went out. In Baytown

    #55
  56. Rick

    Power out in West University at 6:00, 8:00, and 10:00, for about half an hour each time.

    #56
  57. Bolt

    I live in the River Oaks area (77027). We have had at least 2 blackouts this morning. First about 7:00 AM lasting an hour +/- and another later in the morning of indeterminate length (wasn’t home so cannot verify length). So, even the so-called rich folks which I am most definitely not) who live in River Oaks are feeling the effects of the blackouts.

    #57
  58. Richard

    Look at it this way…are we in Egypt right now? No. Besides, the vermit predicted an early spring this morning. Don’t get your knickers in too big of a knot.

    #58
  59. Matt

    Less government is what we need! I have never heard of a rolling blackout taking place in Somalia, and they have no functioning government whatsoever. Thanks to King Richard and his cronies on ERCOT. Let companies take care of us or let us all build our own power plants (I want a nuclear one).

    #59
  60. David

    I work in a high-rise building in the Galleria area and so far we haven’t been affected by the rolling blackouts. However, I would hope the downtown skyscrapers and other high-rise residential and commercial buildings elsewhere aren’t affected. It would not be fun to be trapped in an elevator for any length of time.

    #60
  61. Eric

    The state should have announced this would happen. That way people could have been ready – perhaps that would have reduced the overall load a bit anyway! I’ve contacted ERCOT saying the same and also indicating that perhaps in the event of these sort of weather emergencies they need to be more forthcoming about how to reduce our power load and what homes & businesses should do to reduce the load before something like this happens!

    I wonder how much the DFW area is being cut because of all the out of state visitors?

    #61
  62. toxicintexas

    It would have been nice to have a little advanced notice of this. Did it occur to anyone that there are individuals out there (read: my mother) that are totally oxygen dependent and require electricity to run their oxygen concentrators. How terrifying it was for her this morning not knowing how long she would be without air. Nice job!

    #62
  63. David

    BTW, ERCOT isn’t a government agency. It’s a non-profit organization set up by the electric utility companies. It is supposedly answerable to the Texas Public Utility Commission, whose commissioners are appointed by Governor Perry. The PUC is a joke because the commission members are all former utility executives. How much “regulating” do you think they do?

    #63
  64. Max Power

    I want a system designed for all possible circumstances, but I don’t want to be charged me more than a system that works 99% of the time. If I can’t watch my daytime TV I may not be able to go on with life.

    #64
  65. Matt

    i’m not sure communicating a schedule of blackout areas would be in our best interest. do you really want everyone (including those with questionable morales) knowing that your home will be dark tonight? also could pose a security issues for banks / businesses.

    #65
  66. Murphey

    We have had two blackouts this morning: 6:30 and 9:45. Each one were about 45 minutes. We are in the Jones Rd/FM 1960/Beltway area.

    #66
  67. Mike

    Yes, we lost power this morning at 6:30, exactly the time I was at home sitting on the throne. FIX THE PROBLEM, DON’T USE A PATCH.

    #67
  68. Roger

    “I live in Katy. Should we evacuate?” — Ross

    Yes. But not because of a power outage. Evacuate because it’s a dull, drab suburb and anybody who lives there could die of boredom.

    #68
  69. John

    The way the wind has been blowing here, Al Gore’s wind farms should have been over suppling electricity for the whole Country! It has taken 2 men to close a barbed wire gap here for the last 2 days. Now we hear that the Serria Club is tring to close the LCRA Power Plant in Fayetteville. because of pecan tree damage! What a world we live in now!

    #69
  70. Bill Hensley

    Rolling blackouts, what the heck? This is Texas, son. If you need another power plant, just build one.

    #70
  71. Laz

    Oh I had a power outage in my wallet, can’t pay you this month.

    #71
  72. Mother of2

    It is not about seeing or not being warm. However for some of us we have children, elderly and maybe sick family members. I think we should be told before they just turn the power off for 45 min or how ever they want to.

    #72
  73. J.Alva

    And the people that depend on electric furnaces to heat their homes are just out of luck. Like my 72 year old dad. Next time at least give us some type of warning so we can make plans!

    #73
  74. Charlie

    We live in the Magnolia / Honea Egypt area and were without power from 7:00am until 10:30am. Don’t know where the optimistic max of 45 minutes came from. Tried to call in the power outage and could not get past the automated “gate keeper”. Glad to finally have power, but uncertain as to how long it will last.

    #74
  75. Jared Brice

    I don’t understand why if 1/6 the customers need to have multiple blackouts why not spread that around to the other 5/6 so that maybe only 1 blackout per household?

    Just a thought

    #75
  76. ITim

    This is outrageous that they didn’t announce this. I think that’s what bothering people most. It was known in advance that this will happen, but they didn’t bother to tell us.

    The power has been shut down at school, day care, I cannot run my business from home. They could (and should) implemented a phone or SMS warning system. SMS would’ve been better. I know that China is implementing an emergency SMS system, but they cannot do it in the US!

    #76
  77. sugarland

    Power has been off 2-3 times this morning. Problem was the pilot was out for the gas heat – we do not have automatic pilots on 2 of our systems. The pilot was out since the first power outage – the system was blowing cold air for quite a few hours.

    #77
  78. JL

    Magnolia still without Power. I think that we are running on 4 hours without power. The centerpoint phone number blows because all it does is send you to the automated system which tells you that they can’t give any idea of when it will be back. I dont suppose anyone has any info about the Magnolia blackout and what is really going on?

    #78
  79. warren

    To Danno regarding “I wonder if River Oaks has been rolled yet or how about the parts of town where energy executive live?”

    The answer is yes and yes and a bonus yes (for where they works too instead of watchings Oprah and The View in Pasadena). Twice since 9AM.

    #79
  80. Wills

    I don’t want notification of when my area blacks out so the looters are not prepared.

    #80
  81. robin green

    Power went out at 6:00am when I was in the shower. finished up in the dark and shaved by candlelight. You would think the power executives would let people get there kids off to school before throwing the off switch. pitifu.

    #81
  82. BunchOfBS

    The rolling blackouts are not shared equally. It should affect all areas even downtown Houston. It looks like its mainly affecting the suburbs.

    #82
  83. Jesse

    We’ve had at least 4 blackouts this morning; once at 6:30 AM, once at 8:00 am , at 10:00 AM and at 11:20Am.
    These have lasted 20 to 45 minutws.

    #83
  84. houstonrk

    After our 3rd rolling blackout. It is shows that the people at ERCOT have no idea how to solve the current power problems.. We are becoming a 3rd world country. Excellent idea if we knew when the blakcouts would happen. You would not lose your computer data.

    #84
  85. robin green

    So much for the “smart grid” we have been paying millions for. No notice no nothing.

    #85
  86. Tina

    I live in the Alief area. Our first power outage was @6:10am for about 35-40 minutes. The second one was around 8:15 am or so and it was back on around 9:20am so it was out for about 1 hr or so. My kid’s highschool has three outages so for and the outage has not been long for each. There were several trafic lights that were out that made the commute difficult.

    #86
  87. Thomas

    As a teacher I really think that it would have been nice for SOMEBODY (Centerpoint or somebody in charge of this plan) to notify the local school districts about this plan a little bit ahead of time! Can you imagine having 1000 teenage middle school students and have the lights go out! Not to mention food preparation ect. The school districts should have been better nitified! Thousands of students and teachers in the dark on this one!!! Terrible planning!!!

    #87
  88. whoyakiddin

    New Flash—the global warming is over and the new ice age has started. I know cuz the smart people told me so. The fact is that I am not bothered by a blackout because I live on the same circuit with a volunteer fire station. Didn’t know that when I bought the house but it saved me during Ike and it is keeping me online now. Something to think about when you buy your next house. If you have the money to afford one.

    #88
  89. James

    Screw these guys. What a bunch of a-holes! How do they decide which areas suffer?? I bet none of their homes go with out power. No automated calling or even news releases until afterwards.

    I bet these are little punks who got their butts kicked everyday in school and this is their revenge. LOSER’S!!!!!!!!!!

    #89
  90. Brendan F. Kelly

    I would like to thank the Global Environmentalist Movement for the lovely rolling blackout I got to enjoy between 6:43 and 7:03 AM today. Your tireless efforts to prevent the building of more power plants, lines, and excess capacity have given us a grid so fragile, and so lacking in extra capacity that an extra cold morning and one too many coffee makers push us back into the Middle Ages.

    #90
  91. Gary

    Have had three outages, 15 – 30 minutes each. West side of town, I-10 and Beltway.

    #91
  92. David

    I live in Sienna Plantation in Fort Bend County, just off Highway 6 in Missouri City. We had 2 blackouts this morning at 5 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. Each one lasted 30-45 minutes.

    #92
  93. llmac

    Some folks don’t think these rolling blackouts are a big deal. Perhaps they are used to mediocrity and are willing to accept it. I am not. I expect the power grid to be reliable and to work, ESPECIALLY in time of extreme weather. This shows a failure to plan ahead. For some time we have been warned that the power grid in Texas was overloaded and needs to be strengthened. And now they want to merge the Texas system with other national systems. Deregulation has failed. It is time to get the business profiteers out of Texas electricity and return to the sensible system of PUC regulation to establish prudent oversight for the grid. If we pay the highest rates for electricity, we should have something to show for it – like a reliable electric grid. What,nobody considered what the demand for natural gas would be when the weather got cold?

    #93
  94. gson

    Guess I ought to be glad to be at work and not sitting at home waiting for my heater to turn back on!! Oh, wait! I AM glad to be at work – that means I have a job and can pay that utility bill when it comes in. And, with the rolling outages, it should lower the bill by a few dollars/cents!!! Not a bad day at all!

    #94
  95. opus77044

    Summerwood had power interruption this morning around 7am for about 10 minutes.

    #95
  96. Drew

    It’s going to be a lonnnng time until Saturday. Brace yourselves.

    #96
  97. MAM

    I’d like to see which neighborhoods actually lost power and for how long. It is propaganda (polite for lying) the areas were affected for 45 minutes. Somebody made a decision and we need to know who actually made the call and how they made their decision. NAMES PLEASE! In West Houston the Mission Bend area was out for over THREE HOURS. I want to know WHO did that to us. Bunch of liars from where I sit.

    #97
  98. AlanB

    WHY can’t Centerpoint warn us? Because they don’t want to! This is ridiculous. They didn’t know until this morning? That’s not believable.

    #98
  99. Julie B.

    We have had three “rolling outages” since 7:00am today. They have lasted 30-45 minutes each. We live in Pearland.

    #99
  100. DANA

    DOES THIS MEAN HELL HAS FINALLY FROZEN OVER?

    #100
  101. Jason

    The power grid in Texas is all connected. Power plants have failed in the north part of the state where there is ice. Power from other areas of the state can be directed to the areas plants have failed in…but in order to prevent a complete failure of the grid they have ordered the rolling blackouts. Get all the facts before complaining about how far more electricity is used in the summer than in the winter so this shouldn’t be happening.

    #101
  102. Inner Looper

    I live near Afton Oaks/River Oaks in the 77027 zipcode and have had 3 outages at 7:00, 9:00, and 11:00 for 30 minutes – 1 hour. I am steps from Highland Village and River Oaks (in a small townhome) so this is clearly not being restricted to the suburbs. Very frustrating!

    #102
  103. Linda

    I live in Spring Branch(Kemp Forest/Gessner) and we lost power at 6:30am, back on at 7:00am, off at 8:30, on at 9am, off at 9:30am, on at 10:30 and now off again at 11:30. It seems to be hitting us every 45mins, give or take….guess this will be happening all day to today, hopefully not the rest of the week. Four blackouts so far here, while other neighborhoods have not been hit once.

    #103
  104. MAM

    I want to echo llmac’s comment. “free enterprise” with public utilities simply means profiteering by those who line the Governor’s pocket. Bring back the PUC. AND keep the Texas grid independent.

    #104
  105. yogibard

    Electricity needs to be rationed on an emergency basis until this crisis is over. Schools and hospitals should take priority, followed by homes. Businesses can close — and conserve electricity — until warmer weather returns.

    Texas utilities should be investigated to make sure they are not diverting Texas electricity to higher-priced spot markets.

    #105
  106. Atreyu

    “And the people that depend on electric furnaces to heat their homes are just out of luck.”

    Mmmmm, my heating may be by gas but the fan unit that pushes the hot air through my house is electric. So don’t think I’m not as out of luck as the folks with electric furnaces.

    And I agree with many of the others on here…quit your whining! Those that are complaining the most are the same ones who scream about not wanting to pay more taxes, don’t want fees to go up, etc., but want all the services to work and work all the time. Blah, blah, blah…frankly, no one CARES what you think because what you want and your willingness to pay for it are diametrically opposite. And anyone with any brains knows it doesn’t work that way. So you want something…you pay for it. You don’t want to pay for it…shut up.

    #106
  107. Tyler

    No blackouts here so far. ::knocks on wood:: Rice Military/Heights 77007

    #107
  108. Trey

    We use a lot more electricity in the Summer when everyone’s A/C is running. Many people here heat there homes with gas. There sould NOT be any electrical shortages here right now, unless we are selling our Texas Power off to other states!!! Something is not right with all of this.

    #108
  109. Tom

    Yes! Please tell us in advance what areas are going to be affected and for how long. Otherwise how will the theives know which neighborhoods to wait outside of and wait for the alarm systems to deactivate (and the ones that are backed up will most likely get ignored by HPD as false alarms)!

    Be careful what you wish for.

    #109
  110. Brian

    You people are a bunch of whiney babies. The rolling blackouts are due to natural gas shortages and power plant failures in north texas. They are targeted to certain areas only because those particular grids don’t have any critical systems on them. I.E. if you live or work on the same grid as a hospital then you likely won’t lose power. They can’t segment it down to the neighborhood. Suck it up and be glad you aren’t without power all day up in north texas where it is even colder. Our blackouts are to provide power to them.

    #110
  111. Helen

    Wow. You really want to advertise to crooks which neighborhoods they should hit at which time? Because that’s what announcing the rolling blackout schedule would do. It would have been nice to know THAT it was going to happen, but I sure don’t want everyone knowing WHEN.

    #111
  112. Trey

    And for the 45 minute outages at a time? I live near Magnolia (NW of Houston) and the power went of about 7:10 AM this morning and as of 11:48 it has not come back on at all. That is over 3 hours with ZERO power. Some heads need to roll over this deal. Lousy planning. Lousy execution.

    #112
  113. Steve

    just can’t wait to get on the road this afternoon with all of the traffic signals flashing…

    #113
  114. indcwby

    Doug
    February 2, 2011, 10:38 AM

    Tillman Ferttita pays $330,000 a year in property taxes. I think he’s earned the right to keep his power on. I pay $18,000 a year in property taxes. I shouldn’t be without power longer than someone who pays $3000 a year in property taxes or no property taxes at all.
    —————————————————————————–
    Tillman Ferttita probably has a backup generator on his property to survive with while others can’t afford such a luxury. Kill power in The Woodlands! They use the most power and not once have they been cut.

    #114
  115. DJ

    We have had 3 15min blackouts this morning. Energy corridor… East of 6 between I10 and Memorial

    #115
  116. Jeremy

    This apparently started last night. I am in the Galleria/Bellaire area an my power blinked off and on 3 times beinging at about 8:30PM and then at 9PM when out until about 10:30PM. Then it was off and on all night long. Made for a cooler than expected wake up call this AM.

    #116
  117. David

    I’ve read the news and weather all week, and not one word was said to alert the public to the possibility of “rolling outages.” Why were people not told it was a possibility? Heck, I might have lowered my thermostat if I’d known! It’s never happened in winter before, has it?

    #117
  118. Jules

    Live in Briargrove Park. Power out three times so far for about 30 minutes each time since 6:30 am. Saw St. Agnes girls this morning at the Starbuck’s. None of them appeared unhappy to have the power out – they were just excited to leave school and go get hot chocolate. I work from home on a laptop. The power has not been out long enough for the battery to die between black outs. Did go out while blow drying hair. Was cold for about 15 minutes… yes, I love electricity and am happy we have it.

    #118
  119. Think!

    Mmmm. Strange that there’s enough electrical power in summer when the drain from a/c units is a lot higher. Maybe there’s not enough juice to go around since it has been sold to other states and to not supply those guys would result in big contactual penalties or breach of contact.
    I just wonder….

    #119
  120. Dave

    I agree with the post above that schools should have been notified! Thousands of kids sitting in the dark and teachers having to try to control that circus! Sounds like a safety issue to me. Why weren’t the school districts even notified about this!!!

    #120
  121. JC

    I can understand people’s frustrations with the rolling outages, but there’s a whole lot of nonsense being spewed by people who don’t know much about how the electricity grid operates.

    At 5:58 this morning, ERCOT (the Electric Reliability Council of Texas) issues a Level 3 Energy Emergency Alert, which means that the demand for electricity has exceeded ERCOT’s ability to procure electricity – ERCOT does not own any generators; they have to purchase electricity from independent operators and utilities.

    Usually, a supply deficiency happens in the summer when several factors combine to create a demand for electricity that overloads the transmission lines between the generators and high-demand areas.

    Today, the supply deficiency was caused by power generators that “tripped” (either shut down or disconnected from the power grid) due to unforseen factors caused by the weather. This is NOBODY’s fault. There is no way to be prepared for EVERY POSSIBLE circumstance, and since ERCOT didn’t know that the generators would trip, there is no way they could have warned anyone. Same for CenterPoint and the other utilities.

    This wasn’t caused by deregulation, or global warming, or the ‘good old boys’ in Austin. It’s called an “act of God”

    #121
  122. SaltWaterCroc

    It was known as a “chaos point” when we were working around Y2K issues. Loss of power is the one thing that will reduce a normal neighborhood to complete chaos in a short period of time. Without power, one loses the ability to communicate outside your area, receive news, have what are now essentials – clean regular water service, refrigeration, food distribution, etc. As we saw after Katrina and Ike, without power, life is a lot more difficult. And without power for an extended period, society (as we know it) will come unglued. Welcome to the 21st century – not quite the “Jetsons”, is it?

    #122
  123. Herschel

    It’s amazing that there is so much wining about this. It’s called an ice storm it hit nothern TX plants are down. I will gladly suffer little outages here and there versus a 2 to 3 day outage if they didn’t do this. Bundle up you’ll live

    #123
  124. Matt

    First world problems.

    #124
  125. Mike

    We had this is South Africa a coupuple of years ago.
    Everybody said it was due to an incompetent government.
    Join the third world!
    Anyway it is all in your minds, your Al Gore says the earth is warming up.

    #125
  126. JG

    I live out in Richmond off 99 and 90. We have yet to see a power outage.

    #126
  127. Tracy

    Great point Matt!!! I’m not the happiest camper about rolling blackouts but please don’t announce to the “do bads” that my house will be dark.

    #127
  128. Sue

    Well I guess you people that voted for Gov Good Hair should now be happy and for those that did not show up at the polls to vote for Mayor White to get rid of GH well this is what you get for not participating in our democracy and voting. We will see quite a bit more suffering here in Texas as a result of the people we have in our state government, although, if you are rich you will be okay as is usual. Peace Out.

    #128
  129. Dak

    We’ve had outages of roughly 45 minutes at a time with very small (5-10 minutes windows) of power in League City zip 77573. I was at classes at UHCL this morning and we experienced two blackouts the second of which forced us to cancel class since we were watching a documentary.

    I woke up when the power went out at 630 this morning, and this (just after noon) is the first significant amount of time I’ve had power back at my residence.

    #129
  130. Scott

    The Woodlands is not part of ERCOT. There’s no conspiracy behind their not experiencing the rolling black outs, they (like a large strip of East Texas) are part of SPP, and thus not required to blackout.

    #130
  131. Magnolia Redneck

    Centerpoint just figures if you live in Magnolia then you must have an old couch in your front yard to torch for heat.
    BTW, I live in Magnolia and have been without power for over four hours.

    #131
  132. adflvjnafdbn

    Texas power traders have to make money when the opportunity (winter storm) strikes. The following is from Reuters:

    “Weather-related unit outages caused hourly wholesale power prices in Texas to soar 60-fold to $3,000 per megawatt-hour, up from about $50 where they usually trade. That’s comparable to about $3 per kilowatt-hour for residential users, though most Texas home-owners have long-term power deals with suppliers that protect them from short-term price spikes.

    Wholesale power for Thursday delivery traded in the $325 range, up from about $70 for Wednesday, as cold weather was expected to persist until Friday.

    ERCOT forecast peak demand would top 55,000 megawatts on Wednesday and 57,000 MW on Thursday before dropping to about 47,000 MW on Friday.

    That is still well below the grid’s 2010 summer peak of 65,715 megawatts.”

    Lets see, we must have at least 65,715 capacity since that peak was just last summer. 65715 – 55,000 forecast for Wedneday (totay) = 10,000 KW below capacity. So, explain the need for rolling blackouts to me again….

    I guess we Texans bought the Republican story about how great power deregulation would be, so we have to live with this.

    If you realy like this situation, just remember to thank Governor Perry and your local Republican legislators when you get a chance.

    #132
  133. George O.

    The power went out this morning for several hours in Missouri City, not 45 minutes. It just came on about 40 minutes ago.

    #133
  134. Tina

    Due to the power outages and traffic light problem I missed my Metro P&R last ride into downdown. I had to turn around and went back home which at that time there was no power. At least, when the power is back on, I can remote to my company network to do work. Wasting all of that time traveling. Hope Thursday would be better!

    #134
  135. Linda

    We live in Montgomery Trace and TXU is our provider. We were without power for 3 hours – from 7:00 a.m. until 10:00 a.m. My understanding was that we would be without power for no more than 45 minutes, and 3 hours seemed excessive. I hope they don’t turn it off again!

    #135
  136. John

    I live in Magnolia area and we lost power about 7:10AM and it just now came back on at Noon.

    #136
  137. Gene

    I live in Spring Branch and my electrial power has been turn OFF
    FOUR TIMES this moring. ERCOT is a disaster.

    Can anybody DO SOMETHING about “Big Brother” messing with our lives???

    #137
  138. Sharon

    Spring Branch just finished 4th outage. About every 1 to 2 hours. House can’t warm up enough between outages so heater runs non-stop. How much sense does that make? A little warning yesterday might have been nice. And, if they are really rolling lack outs, why isn’t the whole city affected? Banana republic, indeed.

    #138
  139. Bev

    HEY RICHARD…… I live in The Woodlands and have had rolling blackout since 7 AM this morning. Have had 3 of them already, lasting from 30 min. to an hour. So, where do you get your info from? Your imagination??

    #139
  140. Zilch

    Friday will be worse. While not in Downtown, I am on the same grid and our power is last out and first on, I hope.

    #140
  141. Steeler Man

    What a bunch of wimps people have become. Without electricity for a few hours and people act like whipped pups. People can’t even change a flat tire anymore. Sad.

    #141
  142. mke

    the one bit of information that would have been useful to anyone is missing. Will they be rolling blackouts tomorrow? Anybody?

    #142
  143. Stephen in Cypress

    I’m live and work in the Cypress area, and the rolling black outs started around 6:30 this morning. So far we are on black out number 4. The temps are expected to drop lower tonight, so does this mean we will experience more rolling black outs?

    #143
  144. NC

    From Cypress,about 4 outages, varied in length and time between. The last two were about 30 minutes apart.

    #144
  145. M

    Folks, there were over 200,000 people without power in Ohio overnight. Over 125,000 in Chicago without power. There are power outages all over the United States right now. Conditions are extreme. I think we can all manage a few hours of inconvenience today to avert massive long term outages. Everyone who is commenting that the crybabies are out today is exactly right.

    #145
  146. We have air conditioners going in the summer. Why don’t we have the blackouts then? And the summer does have some spells of hot days..

    #146
  147. Christopher

    1. If you don’t have a dependent requiring power for life support, please don’t whine as if that were the case. A day of power outage’s isn’t going to kill you.

    2. People like ‘Trey’ exemplify why the most opinionated are oft the most ignorant. A quick read of the comments suggests that our power outages ARE related to gas usage, and ARE affected by areas in the North – rolling outages thus seem reasonable.

    3. Several commentor’s from River Oaks and West U have reported multiple blackout’s – seems fair to me. Obviously being on a grid that is connected to essential services (hospitals…) will stay up longer.

    4. If your going to blame our market system for the outages – back up your claim with some form of source. Otherwise It is safe to assume anyone with brains enough to affect the situation will (rightfully) ignore your claims.

    #147
  148. TK

    does anyone know when the blackouts are going to hit cleburne i really need to know so i can get off the computer at the right time please help

    #148
  149. MarkRJ

    This did not happen last winter when it was just as cold. We need to find out what is different this year. We also need to find out why we are being told one thing and then another happens.

    For those who say this is no big deal, you must not have a job or any responsibility. When lights go out in a school full of students, its a big deal. When the power goes out and doors lock in a commercial building, it’s a big deal. When people are in a clinic for a procedure and the power goes out, it’s a big deal.

    #149
  150. RC

    “The company isn’t turning power off to critical facilities, such as hospitals, water treatment plants and other vital public services.”

    Please remember that grids with these kinds of facilities will not likely experience blackouts, which is why we’ve not lost power at my office… we are right next door to a large hospital.

    This is why more urban areas are not affected. More “stuff” crammed into a smaller area means more likelihood of a fire station or some other critical facility being in a grid. Therefore suburban neighborhoods and rural areas are more likely to be subjected to rolling blackouts… It’s simply because their critical facilities are more spaced out on the grids.

    It has nothing to do with which neighbordhood is considered more “upscale” than another. Sheesh people… stop being so dadgum sensitive and judgemental, especially if you don’t understand how this works!

    #150
  151. Patrick

    I’m off S Gessner and Westheimer, we only had one black out this morning that I know of from about eight fifty to almost nine ten. In the middle of showering -.-

    The outages are understandable and a minor sense so are the unprediability of exactley where these would affect, but I wouldn’t be supprised if higher income areas are being treated better considering watching it happen after ike

    #151
  152. Patrick

    Also kinda wonder if someone could map all the reported outages so we could see for a fact if some areas went without a black out or atleast which have had the least

    #152
  153. ToCold

    Really people! Its not like like this happens all the time get over it!! Unless something is just the way you want it all you do is complain and look for the first person to blame!! Grow up! This is going to happen and you cant stop it..

    #153
  154. Robin

    From 7:00am until 11:30ish am is NOT a rotating black but a black out!

    #154
  155. I find it ridiculous that Samsung and large corporations are allowed to have uninterrupted power while my daughter and I have to have no heat for twenty minutes every hour. Something is SERIOUSLY wrong with this scenario.

    #155
  156. Lys'

    We haven’t been rolled here in Katy. I guess boring, drab suburbs have some merit!

    #156
  157. Pablo Lopez

    I live in the Stafford area. I have had 3 outages beginning from 6am… The last one ended about 30 minutes ago.

    None of the major news channels last night reported on this blackout plan. Thats crazy! I wonder how its going to be tonight…

    #157
  158. mike

    4 hits today. areas without hospitals will be affected more often. odd though that 90% of the homes in my neighborhood and the surrounding area use gas for their heat not electricity. that seems a bit unfair. these blackouts are occuring all over texas, dallas, SA, and Austin are being hit as well. As many times as it gets cold here, every year, something seems amiss!

    #158
  159. HMR

    I lve in Magnolia. My electricty has been off since 7:00AM it’s now 12:30PM. This is absolutely ridiculous! I called Reliant and they referred me to Centerpoint. There is no one to talk to at Centerpoint. Everything is automated. This 45 minute rolling blackout claim that they have given us is B.S. and they know it. I’ve lived in cities all over the U.S. and I have never seen anywwhere that has people as stupid as here in Texas, especially the redneck areas. I notice that there are no blackouts in Austin and San Antonio. It’s colder there than it is here. There is no resonable explanation for what’s going on here.

    #159
  160. Justin

    Don’t worry river oaks is rolling also was at the laundry mat in the river oaks area and it went out while I was there and according to the manager had done so three other times already today. Twice so far for the montrose area today.

    #160
  161. Mike

    The Woodlands uses Entergy Power Group not Centerpoint.

    #161
  162. Michael

    You sure the reason isn’t really because our electricity is being shut off in south Texas so power can stay on for the Super Bowl tourists and media presently in north Texas?

    #162
  163. adel

    lived in California for 18 years. the utility companies always published the blackout schedule possibility thru the media. Utility companies also had a flier in the bill notifying you were in a blackout area. there was a box on your bill you could check if you voluntered to be part of the rolling blackouts. some ulities even gave you a small discount for volunteering.

    Bottom line, tell us you will be doing rolling blackouts and we will adapt.

    #163
  164. Justin

    I live in West Montrose (just south of River Oaks Shopping Center). We were bounced twice this morning, each lasting about 45 minutes. Timing was horrible of course. But what I don’t get is why we were bounced twice for 45 minutes and many others were not bounced at all. I understand critical facilities and such, but they are reporting 330,000 customers would be affected. That seems like such a small number compared to the total number of CNP customers. Also, it looks like Oncor (Dallas area) was only bouncing people for 15 minutes. The rolling blackout plan for Houston should be revisited. I’d like to see what county/city officials have to say about Centerpoint’s plan.

    #164
  165. We live in Pearland. lost our power 6 times ! lastnight through today. why on earth do we pay astronomical power bills if we are going to be in the dark and COLD ?! Texas is the center of energy and you mean to tell me ya’ll haven’t figured out how to keep the pwer ONLINE ? besides my foood going bad in the fridge, my pool pipes freezing,..advanced notice could have helped me prepare.fireplace wood etc.Centerpoint has Texas by the big ones and is squeezing tight

    #165
  166. la porte

    I work in the La porte area and we have not had one black out. I love EROCT

    #166
  167. Ann

    “We have become a third world nation”

    Hyperbole much?

    Go live in a third-world nation. A temporary power outage will be the least of your worries, I’m sure, assuming you have power to begin with. Health care? Food? Potable water? A government controlled by a violent dictator? Uprisings in the streets, with bullets flying? Genocides?

    I admit that I didn’t lose any power (unless it’s happened since I’ve been at work), but holy hell…15 minutes, even 45 minutes…that’s annoying and inconvenient, but it’s not going to kill you. Hell, I was without power for 10 days after Ike, and it didn’t kill me.

    Oh, and it’s not just outlying neighborhoods that are being affected. Central Houston is, too.

    #167
  168. Sid

    Rolling back because of unexpected increase in demand?
    Energy companies employ analysts , forecasters,weathermen paying thousands of dollars and they can’t project demand will go up with a winter storm?
    Have to be ridiculously dumb to miss that..

    #168
  169. Susana

    Right, like the summertime doesn’t consume even more power…

    #169
  170. BMC

    Part of Katy area has had 4 black-outs, some areas nothing. No consistency. I agree that we need to speak up and let them know this is not right.

    #170
  171. Lucy

    I live in meyerland and the power has been off 4 times this morning, about 45 minutes each time. It seems like it stays on for an hour, then off. Luckily, my little boy and I can just stay in bed with the cats and read. Not such a bad day.

    #171
  172. Tex

    TL, Magnolia is Entergy not Centerpoint. You need to contact Entergy to get your power back on. By the way Entergy is not part of ERCOT so you have a bigger problem than just blackouts.

    #172
  173. Pam

    I have had 4 rolling blackouts since 6:30. They are coming every hour and a half. They last 30 to 45 minutes. My next one is due about 1:45 if we stay on the schedule we have had so far. How is anyone supposed to carry on with their daily lives this way? I’d rather have no power and I could figure out what to do than to not reallly know if the power will go out or not.

    #173
  174. Gaia

    Mother Nature is a beastitch isn’t it? Stop driving your jacked up SUVs and living generally wasteful fatulent lifestyles instead of blaming local power providers on trying to remedy a situation completely out of their hands by trying to prevent a complete and utter blackout of the power that you so waste.

    #174
  175. Reci

    its no big deal. At least you all are living. Just think about the homeless that are out there freezing. Yes a warning would have been lovely but hey things happen! This is not the worst thing that has happened. EVERYONE IS ADULTS SO PLEASE SUCK IT UP!

    #175
  176. Steve

    Wow, I cannot believe all the cry babies out there. It’s called being prepared. I ponied up the money for a generator after the hurricane never expecting to have an outage in the winter. Hay, I have a ups on my computers and the backup generator and I am quite fine. Working just like I always do in my home office.

    You never know when the power will be off, so be prepared.

    #176
  177. TH

    This all smells very fishy to me. A lot of Texans use gas heat. Even with some outages due to ice I can’t imagine we’re pulling so much energy they had to roll the grid. I’d expect we pull far, far more energy in the summer months. I’m not buying the excuses.

    #177
  178. Power Plant Operator

    Wow…what’s really bad is that 99% of you DON’T HAVE A CLUE!!! Let me start by saying that I work at a power plant, so let me shed some light (lol)…It’s not that Texas doesn’t have the ability to generate the power to keep up with our demand, it’s the fact that the sub-freezing weather we’ve been seeing isn’t the “norm” for Texans. With that said, our power plants aren’t built for 15* freezing weather (just like our homes)…our power plants are built to run under normal Texas conditions. If we were to enclose them, things would quickly overheat in the summer months!

    With this said, rolling blackouts aren’t, and can’t be planned for…this is why there is no communication of who will be affected. Example: Factory “A” in your neighborhood is using a lot of electricity, but isn’t vital, they would be turned off for a while before a heavily populated residential only neighborhood that’s only using “normal” energy.

    It’s not capitalism, or a monopoly, IT’S COMMON SENSE!

    #178
  179. Dee

    I don’t understand why this came as a surprise to them. We have known for over a week that this cold weather was coming from the news reports. And for you inconvienced whiney babies out there (not the ones who have been out for hours),at least you don’t have blizzard conditions as well as a power outage to deal with.

    #179
  180. Vernon Williams

    What I want to know is, why is this happening now? I have lived here 35 years, been through some equally cold weather, without any outages whatsoever. Demand now surely can’t compare to the hot summer months with a million air conditioners running simultaneously, when most people probably heat with gas rather than electricity.

    Furthermore, why have all these power stations throughout the state gone down? The northern part of the state always has nasty winter weather. These stations should be designed to handle this kind of weather.

    And why is only 1/6 of local customers being targeted? Does income level have something to do with it? I somehow suspect it does. I live in a middle income neighborhood, with some lower income neighborhoods nearby. Has River Oaks had any outages? Or Memorial?

    I have had 4 outages this morning, for 2 1/4 hours, which is a problem for somebody who works at home by computer. I would rather have one longer outage than a bunch of shorter ones, so I don’t have to worry about my computer going down in the middle of something.

    If all of the non-critical customers had been forced to share the load, everybody might have had one outage for 20 to 25 minutes, which would be much more bearable. Something is wrong with the way Centerpoint operates, which its response to Ike also demonstrated, when they started at the far suburbs and worked inward to restore power, rather than starting in the center, where most people and businesses are, and working outwards, as they should have. It seems they wanted to restore power to the wealthy suburbs first.

    #180
  181. Frank

    My power has been “rolled” off twice this morning, about 45 mins each. I thought about getting upset, then realized I have shelter, food, the promise that the electricity will be turned on again soon, I am healthy enough (and have enough natural padding) to withstand a little chill, etc. I reminded myself of all of those in Egypt, the homeless and hungry in our own country, and thought my irritation at the bureaucracy, though justified, may be in need of perspective. I will now take advantage of the forced slow-down in my otherwise hustly-bustly day and be thankful for my family, my job, my blessings. Sorry for the Pollyanna-ish tone. But let’s face it. We’re lucky to have such problems.

    #181
  182. The Sky is Falling

    Perhaps they tried to warn us, but then their power went out and their Internet dropped…

    Greenspoint here, been w/o power 5 times this morning, about 15 to 20 min each time.

    Agree with mke, how about letting us know how long these things will last !!!!

    #182
  183. mark

    Magnolia here also have been without power for 6 hrs now we have 3 kids we need to know if we are getting power back today if not we will go somewhere else but all we get is a auto answer from centerpoint and relient ALL I WANT TO KNOW is DO MY INFANTS HAVE TO FREEZE TONIGHT??

    #183
  184. mya.m

    i live in pearland and we have lost electricity 5 times already last from 30 mins to an hour. thankfully my family and i are staying warm but non the less a WARNING shouldve been made to the expected black out areas to give residents time to plan ahead. true it is a big inconvenience especially during the morning commute with 4 children but seriously this can go both ways some ppl need to grow up and deal with this rationally because things could be A LOT worse. all im asking for is a warning! a simple thoughtful task that the light company should have done for their customers. what really is going on??? just doesnt seem right. and “warm up” areas for residents, yes thoughtful but who really is going to get out of their house when their are so many power outages and risking some nut case walking or breaking into your house? RELIANT DAMM YOU I PAY MY BILL ON TIME YOU SHOULDVE WARNED ME!!!

    #184
  185. El Capitan

    This is not just about nat gas curtailments – this is about not having a well-designed capacity market like the East and Midwest have.

    #185
  186. MEB

    This weather isn’t that bad. I think we are all a bit spoiled with the things we think are necessities that really aren’t. So your house is cold, wear flannels, socks and bundle up. Prepare your home too, don’t play the victim. Our ancestors didn’t have the luxury to complain on message boards either.

    #186
  187. Matt Simpson

    To see why America is in decline, look no further than the losers whining and complaining here. Prima donnas. Most are clueless idiots and all are selfish.

    #187
  188. N. Smith

    My husband works in Stafford, and they have been having rolling blackouts all morning. I was down on the University of Houston campus, and they had several traffic lights out but everything else appeared to be working. The university had emailed us about the traffic lights being out (they have an emergency system that keeps students updated pretty effectively). I caught the news about there being temporary shutdowns across Texas this morning on NPR so I wasn’t completely unprepared. Does not look like we have had any in Spring yet judging by the clocks around the house.

    #188
  189. VERN

    power outages … ughhh such a inconvenience for the poor ppl too bad i live in a 3 story house running off 5 generators so i get to watch my oprah and maury AND make some pizza and cookies. stay warm houston!! i know i am.

    #189
  190. Paul

    I AM conserving power……..my AC is off!!!!!!! So is everyone else’s. Why are we having this issue/debacle in the 21st century? Why are our light-bills the highest in the country again??????

    #190
  191. ccc

    I’ve noticed considerable complaining about ERCOT and local utilities with regard to the rolling blackouts. In many respects ERCOT can be assigned blame because they attempt to skirt on the edge of minimizing cost. However basically you have gotten what you voted for.

    In the old days, individual utilities predicted their own demand and would bring up peaking plants or arrange to buy additional power to meet that demand. If that were still the case today, you could blame your utility and demand better. However, with increasing environmental regulation and electrical deregulation, ERCOT has assumed the statewide role for this. On top of this, Texas has not kept pace in building power plants to meet the increasing demand; various groups block nuclear, coal, and pretty much any type of reliable plant we can build. For decades Texas’ loss of reliable reserve capacity has been alarming. Instead, we build wind turbines which increase the uncertainty in predicting demand; and this will get worse as we build more of wind turbines — they just don’t work in the cold or high winds.

    From the post, it is clear that utilities are spinning up older power plants. An old peaking plant may take 6 to 8 hours before it is supplying power to the grid, and that is FAST. The old base load plants can be expected to take a day or 2 to supply power to the grid. 4,000 MWe is a pretty high deficit to make up. A single nuclear plant will supply a bit over 1,000 MWe and we only have 4 of those in the state. Most conventional plants are much smaller especially the old ones. As a result, it is understandable that it would take all day or more for the grid to supply power without blackouts in the current weather conditions. Moreover, the bureaucrats will not actually suspend the rules (e.g. the environmental regulations) until there is a real crisis and people are complaining — hence you cannot spin up the reserve capacity before it is needed, you have to suffer the blackouts before you can spin up the reserves.

    #191
  192. brandi

    I live in Baytown and have lost my power 8 times already. It stays off for about 45 minutes and then stays on maybe 30 minutes. Our heaters do not have time to even start heating the house up. In case these people didn’t think about it some of us has kids that actually need heat so maybe leave out power out an hour and then leave it on for a longer that way our house can get warm.

    #192
  193. chris

    Call it Karma…this is Enron’s little trick…now imagine snickering by those doing it and billions in profits going out of state…

    #193
  194. MW

    We had 5 times 20 min blackouts from 6:30am. Katy area, North Fry Rd.
    I’ll better turn my computer off now, to prevent from 4th recovering.

    #194
  195. alex

    question? … i live in the pearland area and im experiencing blackouts 4 so for lasting about 45mins to an hour but our water isnt working… why? and how am i suppose to use the restroom? ive been holding for 2hrs!! and will cocking the windows really help? cause i lost my cocking gun.

    #195
  196. Sam

    My wife is a junior high school teacher. She called and told me they have had 4 blackouts today at thier school. Many of the classrooms do not have windows (for security reasons) and when the lights go out their room are pitch black! She has had classes of 30 teenagers start yelling and screaming each time the power goes out! They then have to take the students into hallways and sit them under the emergency lights until the lights come back on because it is too cold to take them all outside. It was mentioned already, but WHY were the school districts not notified about this ahead of time. Many people are commenting on here about losing power, do you have children? Where are they right now? Street lights out and buses bringing thousands of children home. Sounds like a PR disaster for schools!!! Hospitals and nursing homes not affected, how about schools with all fo our children. There are thousands of students sitting in hallways right now under emergency lights! There is a story if you ask me!!! Comments on this please???

    #196
  197. Davis

    Large portions of the Woodlands are not part of ERCOT. Our only option of a power provider is Entergy. Don’t worry, we experience our share of outages at random times, just not today (yet)

    #197
  198. Keith

    I have been quit toasty this morning but I think I live close to they “major” circuits that won’t be shut down. Why in Texas do we need to bring blackouts? We in Texas create energy and we can’t provide enough for our own use. Build some nuke plants and this won’t be a problem.

    #198
  199. KB

    HMR
    February 2, 2011, 12:41 PM
    “I’ve lived in cities all over the U.S. and I have never seen anywwhere that has people as stupid as here in Texas, especially the redneck areas.”
    ———
    Well then, welcome to Texas. We really admire the caliber and class of people like you moving here to add to that perception.

    Jerk.

    #199
  200. Paul67

    If we can’t stay on after 1 day of cold we’re in trouble , we must be the laughing stock of all the cold weather states , Think they’re trying to justify a rate increase.

    #200
  201. Allan

    In the JSC/Seabrook area, fourth blackout today just ended. Areas just west appear to have never lost power.

    #201
  202. Ryan

    Why are you all crying about this? I wish you could look at this and see what I see. You are crying that you have lost power or power was out for a block of time. Conserve your power (what is remaining), put a fire on, read a book, spend time with your family, etc.
    Why are you complaining when you have these things available to you yet, in this freezing weather, HOMELESS people are be turned away from shelters because of a lack of space. They are freezing OUTSIDE and you want to complain about a block time when you don’t have any power. It’s very sad that you see things through limited lenses.

    #202
  203. Dee

    Mark, if you can’t get a response from the power provider, those rat finks are not answering on purpose, call the fire department. They should have more information than you do. Good luck

    #203
  204. Sandy

    We’ve lost power at least 4 times since 5:30 this morning each lasting no less than 40 – 50 min.

    #204
  205. We were a part of the rolling blackout 3 different times this am but the most we were without electric was 15 to 20 minutes each time.

    #205
  206. Keith

    Just imagine if all the energy represented on this board was put into being prepared instead of being dependent? Interesting to me the high number of political folks who preach “Government doesn’t owe you a thing” and then are on here crying because the electricity is sporadically interrupted for a day or two. Where is electricity guaranteed as an inalienable right? You are correct, the government doesn’t owe us a thing except peace and freedom. (oversimplified but you get the idea). Now we need to start acting like it.
    BTW it was very nice this morning to hear my generator kick on as I was leaving for work ;-). And no cry baby class crap, I am from very humble surroundings. It is all in aligning your actions with your words.

    #206
  207. Bunni

    So if everybody is supposed to be conserving power then why am I at work??? We are non-essential and could save tons of power if we shut down the office and went home. Why arent businesses being asked to close to help conserve on power?

    #207
  208. Gene

    I live in Spring branch; and my electrical power went out FOUR TIMES
    this morning!!! ERCOT is a disaster.

    #208
  209. MargaretH

    Marathon Oil Tower – 4 blackouts since 7am. 1 hour, 30 minutes, 20 minutes, 7 minutes, respectively. So the big/medium corps are not immuned. Mom’s house in Meyerland, friend’s house in the Heights, no blackouts yet.

    #209
  210. lala

    They should shut down the power at cowboys stadium. That’s a waste of power right there.

    #210
  211. DB

    Apparently the Texas Grid is unable to produce at capacity at this time.

    Evidently some generation tripped off line – a good news source would find out why and tell us. It was probably ice on power transmission lines or towers that caused them to fail or to many tree limbs breaking and falling on power lines upsetting the transmission system causing relays to trip out.

    Now power is being rerouted to get as much of the system back online as possible.

    Now was some maintenance (reduced force/man hours, less inspection, less testing, delay replacement of obsolete equipment) and tree trimming deferred which contributed to the outages in order to maintain profit levels and meet forecasts (optimistic projections made to increase stock value) to keep short sighted stock holders happy – probably.

    This is one of the main reasons that a utility provider cannot be an unregulated free market entity. Reliability and minimal cost of operation and ownership are required for utilities. The utility should be able to recoup it costs but not be driven to maximize shareholder return.

    Natural Gas is currently the lowest cost fuel and it is abundant, securely within our borders, has minimal environmental impact when compared to coal and oil and is locally produced. I agree with Pickens this is the fuel of transition until new energy resources can be developed.

    #211
  212. Ginger

    I live in Pearland. We’ve had several outages so far. Main problem is my day care closed due to the outages and I had to leave work to get the kids.

    #212
  213. Becky

    Alex, your pipes probably froze.

    #213
  214. mlh58

    Centerpoint received a 200 million federal grant in 2008 to implement a “smart Grid” Whose pocket did the majority of that money go into? Where is Wayne???

    #214
  215. Bunni

    I live at Memorial Dr & Wilcrest. When I left my house at 8am we had not had a power outage. On my way to work the lights were flashing at Hwy 6 and I-10 so Im assuming that was due to a power outage but Im not sure. I work in the Richmond/Rosenberg area and so far we have had 4 power outages today that have lasted anywhere from 20 minutes to 45 minutes. The drive home tonight is going to be a nightmare if traffic lights are blinking because of power outages. I cant wait until August when I get married since Ill be a stay at home wife from then on. Im so fed up with dealing with rush hour traffic when there isnt something like this going on. I would much rather be at home now warm and toasty in my bed.

    #215
  216. Appears Centerpoint has not kept up with the demand and unable to completely service their commitments.

    #216
  217. Gabbriela

    I wish the power would go off at my building. I could use a nap.

    #217
  218. Dani

    BLAH BLAH BLAH!!! You people are pathetic! Comments here just goes to show how IGNORANT, SELFISH, and ARROGANT people are now days! POOR ME, POOR ME, IT’S NOT FAIR! Reality check: LIFE ISN’T FAIR!! Quit worrying about what other people do or do not have. So what if some people have had more or longer outages than others, that’s what living in America means. We are not a communistic country and be thankful cause if we did we would ALL be without power right now and you definatly wouldn’t be able to complain to the government about it! So shut your pie holes and suck it up! At least we haven’t been pounded by Old Man Winter like they have in the Northeast!

    #218
  219. mrdon

    A 1989 cold snap resulted in rolling blackouts for loss of available generating capacity. Part of the loss was from inadequate winterization of the plants, but the biggest threat came from the near loss of electricity from lignite fueled plants in the system. The piles of lignite fuel upon which the generators depend were freezing to where the fuel could not be fed to the plants. These piles began thawing just in time to prevent a much worse loss of power.

    I am sure that many customers are pretty much like many of the respondents here — wondering whether they are getting what they are paying for. If you want to avoid situations like this you have to install more capacity — plain and simple. And when that subject comes up customers complain about the prospects of higher rates (undoubtedly some of the same people who are expressing their dissatisfaction with the current brownouts), environmentalists will say no, no and no, and special interests will seek to use the need for more capacity as an opportunity to force utilities to construct new capacity from even more expensive (and sometimes less reliable) unconventional sources. There is no single right answer. And there is surely no answer which will absolutely, positively ensure that there will never be any kind of interruption and inconvenience.

    #219
  220. READ THIS DUMMIES

    Dani…blow it out your pie hole.

    #220
  221. HERE'S YOUR ANSWER

    AUSTIN – Burst water pipes at two coal-fired power plants forced them to shut down, triggering rolling power cuts across the state, the lieutenant governor said Wednesday.

    Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said this is something that “should not happen.”

    Dewhurst said he was told that water pipes at two plants, Oak Grove and Sand Hill, forced them to cut electricity production. Natural gas power plants that should have provided back up had difficulty starting due to low pressure in the supply lines, also caused by the cold weather.

    The lieutenant governor said the demand placed on the Texas grid was nowhere near peak capacity. He said he was frustrated by the situation.

    #221
  222. Marsha

    I live in West U., and the power has been off-again, on-again in 30-minute intervals since 6:30 this morning. No blackouts since noon; we’ll see if it lasts.

    #222
  223. Cathy

    They had plenty of warning last week when this cold snap was going to hit.. What ever happened to coordinating efforts so this BS does not happen? What a bunch of idiots!!! They need to go into another line of business PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!11

    #223
  224. Dani

    READ THIS DUMMIES…real original, you’re a smart one!

    #224
  225. rob

    READ THIS DUMMIES
    February 2, 2011, 1:57 PM
    Dani…blow it out your pie hole.

    ————————————
    After YOU lick between my toes

    #225
  226. rob

    Solar Power is the answer.

    #226
  227. Brian

    For everyone whining about cutting power to the Woodlands, please stop. The Woodlands is not a deregulated electricity zone, therefore it is not served by Centerpoint and not controlled by ERCOT. Entergy is the regulated utility in the Woodlands.

    #227
  228. Bear

    Yes River Oaks was out 3 or 4 times today and yes THEY should have told us all that this could happen!!
    bear

    #228
  229. Yes, my power was out this morning and several times today. What’s that odor in the air… do we smell a rat or is that a price increase coming?

    #229
  230. RC

    Vernon Williams, you have no clue what you are talking about. If you had actually READ through the comments first, you’d already know why some grids are going offline while others aren’t. You’ll have to scroll up if you want the details, as I don’t feel like repeating myself. Sheesh. *rolls eyes*

    #230
  231. Brian

    if you live south of woodlands parkway and west of Branch crossing in the woodlands, you are under Centerpoint. The rest of the woodlands is not deregulated

    #231
  232. HMR

    KB

    “Well then, welcome to Texas. We really admire the caliber and class of people like you moving here to add to that perception.”
    Jerk.

    ——–

    You must be one of those rednecks I spoke of. Continue to chew your tobacco….

    #232
  233. John

    Power out at residence at 6 AM till 6:50 AM, then again at 7:55 AM till 8:45 AM, then at 10:00 AM till 10:35 AM. Work lost power 3 times between 8 am and 1 pm. As long as it doesn’t blow out my appliances I don’t mind.

    #233
  234. RC

    To all you folks crying “The utils knew for a week that this cold front was coming, they should have been prepared!”

    Well, RIGHT BACK AT’CHA! YOU have also known for a week that it was coming and maybe YOU should have taken responsiblity for preparing yourself and your home. Considering that little more than a small thunderstorm can knock out the power in any given area, you are ignorant if you are suprised that a hard freeze has the potential to do the same.

    Time to start thinking for and being accountable for yourselves people… Quit depending on other people to do it for you.

    #234
  235. JUst me

    Power outages hitting Houston….must be BUSH fault…..

    #235
  236. fmtz

    Parts of pasadena were without power this morning. An automatic standby generator is one way of not being “powerless” during times of emergency. GE has a new line of energy efficient, natual gas powered generators. http://www.homestandbygeneratorsystems.com/

    #236
  237. Kingcobb

    seriously…this isn’t centerpoints issue-Ercot is mandating the blackouts to provide power to north texas where a bunch of the plants have gone down. I am perfectly fine having some outages in 23-33 degree weather so that people in 6 degree weather can have some power.

    BTW-all you idiots who keep complaining about magnolia being out of power-its because the plant that provides ya’lls power is one of them that went down and it takes a bit to reroute power so chill.

    If your cold, put on a few more blankets or a heavier coat. Read a book or clean your house. Some of you on here sound like your in the movie the day after tomorrow.

    #237
  238. llmac

    I agree with “mrdon” and this blog illustrates his point pretty well. We see all points of view represented here. I understand what “Power Plant Operator” is saying too. However, we already pay some of the highest rates in the country. I just don’t believe there is ever a good reason for our utilities to fail. Utilities should be prepared for these types of weather events and so say that it is “out of our control” is not acceptable. I was without power for almost three weeks after Ike and I did not complain. I was impressed with the effort made to recover. This is not the same as a hurricane. Moreover, power companies have a public trust and they should take care of it. It is more that just an inconvenience when traffic control devices fail, schools go without power and the elderly or infirm are put in jeopardy in their own homes where they should be safe. There is very little accountability. Who do you even complain to? Contact the PUC and your state legislators.

    #238
  239. ELAINE

    I live in Houston and I do consider myself blessed that we have a roof over our head and we can afford to pay for our electricity to have heat and A/C.
    However, I must say also it would be great if we would have known about this ahead of time so we could have planned for it. My husband was in the shower in the dark when this happened. When I got out the restaurants and stores I talked to lots of people and heard many talk about not being able to get out of the garage, companies whose employees can’t get their work done, etc. etc. Again, I agree we are use to our conveniences, but if asked, I think many of us would be willing to give it up voluntarily, but would just like to be informed and have some sort of schedule.
    Thank you.

    #239
  240. Dani

    Hey HMR, I agree with you that people are stupid BUT if you don’t like it here, why don’t you go back to the puny, pathetic little state(probably up north somewhere) that you came from! HAHA you probably don’t even know what a redneck is…you should be careful what you say about “rednecks”, they carry shotguns! This is TEXAS you know!!

    #240
  241. Dani

    Ok I’m done wasting my time on here. Power outages are over now…crisis diverted. Have a great day and get or stay warm Houston!

    #241
  242. bayer368

    Just wondering if there’s any news regarding when they will end the rolling blackouts?

    #242
  243. Needs a Breathing Treatment

    I hate being cold, just like the rest of you. However, I’m more concerned on when I should give my 6 year old his breathing treatment. You can only administer them every 4 hours and he can’t go much past that.

    I agree Elaine, I would volunteer for an hour here and there if I knew when, to prepare for it.

    Thanks Centerpoint!!!

    #243
  244. aimee

    two of my businesses were going out every hour then would come on for 45 minutes..etc. besides being really hard to get guest in, it runs havoc on all 3 phase equipment when power comes back on causing a surge and blowing compressors, etc…translation…$$$$$ lost!

    #244
  245. Ryan

    READ THIS DUMMIES- you’re an idiot! You’re feeble, fragile mind apparently does not know how to intellectually process anything. You’re argument lacks any kind of foundation. After a few minutes of trying to locate it I finally realized that your “dumbness” is a part of the epidemic disease that has swept across our nation. Lucky for you there is a cure: read a book, even one a month will greatly help you.

    #245
  246. Hurricane Centerpoint!!!

    We knew the freezing temperature was coming and we knew we will need to bundle up, but we didn’t know Centerpoint acted like there was a Hurricane in Texas.

    #246
  247. HB

    Wow, so many comments. While it is a slight inconvenience people don’t get so upset. :( There are worse things to be inconvenienced by.

    I grew up without air conditioning and heat so to me it is not a big deal. Yes we now have the luxury of a warm house during winter and cool house during summer times but when things like this happen just work around it. Bundle up and take a nap under the blankets if you are home. Enjoy the nice interruption (break) at work when the power goes out. We have lost power at work now 3 times (Greenspoint are) and we were all very happy. :)

    Surprisingly, my mom who lives 2 miles from Minute Maid Park has not lost power at all but my friend whose mom lives 5 blocks away has lots power multiple times. I live in Woodlands/Spring area and we haven’t lost power at all according to my neighbor.

    #247
  248. northerner

    Wow! All I have to say is “toughen up Texans”. A few rolling blackouts may be inconvenient but an inside temperature of 50 degrees is far from life threatening. Would you really want the criminals out there to know exactly which areas were going to be without power and at what time? I know I wouldn’t want that published. The entire nation is experiencing an extreme winter and Texas isn’t the only state that has to “suffer” through the winter. How spoiled we have became!!

    #248
  249. KB

    HMR wrote:
    “You must be one of those rednecks I spoke of. Continue to chew your tobacco….”
    —————-
    Nope, I’m from Connecticut but love it here. But I do know some people from both places who chew and they have much more class than you do. Please remind everyone that you are not from here on a continual basis. Oh wait, you don’t have to…it’s obvious.

    #249
  250. Mr Petro

    rob
    February 2, 2011, 2:03 PM
    “Solar Power is the answer.”
    ————————-
    No it’s not. You can’t make plastic out of it.

    #250
  251. Hello Everyone

    As for someone who lives in Magnolia ISD, we did have hot lunches because we have an awesome cafeteria manager. Whomever posted such a ridiculous comment….that MISD was serving frozen cheese sandwiches…you need to get a job and a life!!! Classes ran as usual!!!

    #251
  252. Why are Texans so dumb?

    Anyone considering moving to Texas should read these comments for a taste of the intellectual depth of its citizens.

    #252
  253. MJ

    I do home dialysis and it is critical that I have power during certain times…or I could die! Not trying to throw blood clots and lose pints of blood in my machine. If this should happen tomorrow, all be warned that someone is being sued big time! Would be nice to be warned when these blackouts are occurring so that I could schedule my treatment around that.

    #253
  254. Bev

    HEY MIKE…your remarks are not accurate…”The Woodlands uses Entergy Power Group not Centerpoint”….. We live in The Woodlands and we use Centerpoint!!

    #254
  255. I think it was rediculous. the power at my school kept going out!

    #255
  256. I’m fine now. But it was like attack of wegee! don’t you agree? As long as it doesn’t happen again, I’ll be as happy as a bird with a french fry.

    #256
  257. Henry

    Energy saving tips from Reliant Energy and Mega Watt: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUNISl0mr5g

    #257
  258. In Colony Woods subdivision in Sugar Land, we had 3 blackouts of 30 -40 durations between 7:00 and Noon. If a blackout is necessary, I would not complain if it only happened once, but most homes had none.

    #258
  259. Jayne

    Texas did not run out of natural gas, there was an electric energy shortage and the gas couldn’t be pumped to other states. When it’s cold there is no wind, no wind leads to stoppage of wind mills and that means no energy is produced.

    #259
  260. Jayne

    I cannot believe some of the comments on this post…We should NOT be expected to give up our electricity for a minute, we pay high prices for it and high taxes for the gov’t to build an efficient system. If we have rolling black outs now then we can consider this the start of our drive toward being a third world nation. I never experienced a black out as a child and no one else should either, especially if they’re on life support generated by electricity!

    #260