NOTICE DATE: February 17, 2021
NOTICE TYPE: Informational
SHORT DESCRIPTION: Houston – Feb. 17, 2021 - As Texas experiences ongoing extreme winter weather, with cold temperatures and the second round of winter precipitation, the statewide power generation emergency continues to cause extended electric outages for CenterPoint Energy customers across its service territory.
INTENDED AUDIENCE: All Market Participants
DAY AFFECTED: Monday, February 16, 2021
LONG DESCRIPTION: “We recognize that many of our customers are experiencing serious hardships due to the extended outages and we share their frustration that adequate power hasn’t been available for us to deliver to our customers. We appreciate their continued patience,” said Kenny Mercado, CenterPoint Energy’s Executive Vice President, Electric Utility. “We are working diligently to safely mitigate the extended outages as generating capacity from power producers in our region becomes available.”
As power supply conditions allow, power to impacted customers is being restored by CenterPoint Energy in intervals of time on a rotating basis. Customers’ electricity may be on and off periodically.
The possibility remains that customer outages may persist or expand if CenterPoint Energy is directed by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) to reduce electricity on its system. Due to the continued issues with power generators’ ability to produce electricity, CenterPoint Energy’s customers need to be prepared to be without power, potentially for the duration of the generation shortage event, which could last several more days. The company does not generate electricity itself, so the current shortage of power capacity from the grid is not something that CenterPoint Energy directly controls.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: CenterPoint Energy will continue to update customers through local media outlets, its website (centerpointenergy.com) and its social media channels, Twitter (@CNPalerts) and Facebook.
CenterPoint Energy is providing this update as of Wednesday morning:
Electric and Natural Gas Operations
• As of 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 17, the estimated number of Houston area customers without power is 1.37 million.
• CenterPoint Energy’s Houston Electric transmission and distribution system is positioned to restore service to customers as soon as additional power is available.
• CenterPoint Energy has crews at the ready to make repairs in case of damage from severe weather conditions.
• To help limit demand on the power supply, customers who do have service are asked to reduce their electricity use to the lowest level possible. o For steps on how to reduce energy use, customers can visit http://www.ercot.com/about/conservation.
• CenterPoint Energy continues to reliably deliver natural gas service to customers, as teams remain in ongoing communications with upstream natural gas suppliers to coordinate and maintain reliability across the company’s eight-state service territory.
• During the extreme weather conditions this week, the company has delivered a record volume of natural gas. In response to high heating demand, CenterPoint customers in Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas are asked to temporarily lower their thermostat settings to help conserve natural gas.
• CenterPoint Energy takes the safety and security concerns of its customers very seriously. Unfortunately, from time to time, people attempt to impersonate utility company employees in order to gain access to someone’s home.
• Customers should know the following: o All CenterPoint Energy vehicles are marked with the CenterPoint Energy logo.
o All vehicles being used by CenterPoint Energy contractors are marked with the CenterPoint Energy logo.
o All CenterPoint Energy employees and contractors carry identification badges. If the badges are not visible, they will show them upon request.
o If a customer has any doubts whether someone is a CenterPoint Energy employee, they should ask to see their ID badge.
o If there is a still doubt or any other issue, even after seeing an ID badge, customers should call local law enforcement.
• In most cases, it is NOT necessary for CenterPoint Energy employees to enter a customer’s home or apartment, since most work is done outside on power and natural gas lines. However, when restoring natural gas service, it IS necessary for CenterPoint Energy’s natural gas employees to enter a home or business to relight pilots and ensure that it is safe to resume natural gas service.
Safety Tips During an Outage
For customers experiencing an extended outage, CenterPoint Energy provides these important safety tips to avoid carbon monoxide or fire dangers while trying to stay warm:
Use extra layers of clothes and blankets to stay warm. Close blinds and curtains and close room doors to help contain heat.
• Check your carbon monoxide and smoke alarms to make sure they’re working properly and have fresh batteries.
• A generator should always be used outdoors. Keep it away from windows, doors and air intake vents. Don’t run a generator inside your garage, even if the door is open.
• Never use a gas or charcoal grill inside, or a heater that burns fuel such as kerosene. They pose a danger for both a fire and carbon monoxide poisoning.
• When using a fireplace, the chimney flue should be open, and the outside vent should be clear. Keep children, pets and all items at least three feet away from the fire and use a safety screen if possible. Never leave a fire unattended.
• If you’re running your car to stay warm, don’t park it in the garage. Even with an open door, carbon monoxide from an idling car can quickly accumulate in the garage space or attached home.
• When using candles, keep them away from children, pets and flammable materials. Don’t leave candles lit while unattended or while you are asleep.
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