Citing damage caused by Hurricane Hanna nearly one week ago, AEP Texas requested its customers throughout the Rio Grande Valley to conserve their power for the next two weeks.
This is due to the hurricane damaging a two-mile stretch of a 138-kV transmission line that is currently being rebuilt according to a news release the company sent out Saturday.
The transmission line is located on the west side of McColl Road between University Drive and Monte Cristo Road in Edinburg.
“Until a new line section is constructed, AEP Texas is working with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas to mitigate the situation and continue serving area customers. However, these mitigations still leave the area’s electric grid in a strained situation,” the release stated.
Among the conservation power recommendations are:
- Turn thermostat up 2 to 3 degrees during the peak hours of 2 to 8 p.m.
- Set programmable thermostats to higher temperatures when no one is home.
- Use fans to feel 4 to 6 degrees cooler.
- Limit use of large appliances (i.e., dishwasher, washer, dryer, etc.) to morning or after 8 p.m.
- If you cook indoors from 2 to 8 p.m., use a microwave or slow cooker.
- Close blinds and drapes during late afternoon.
- Schedule pool pumps to run in the early morning or overnight hours; shut off between 2 and 8 p.m.
- If your power does go out, turn off your air conditioner, water heater and large appliances to enable smoother service restoration.
By residents voluntarily taking this action, AEP Texas hopes to reduce the chance that ERCOT will have to order controlled rotating outages in order to protect the electric grid from longer-term damage.
These conservation steps come after Hurricane Hanna left 152,400 RGV customers without power at the peak of outages.
Customers who are still without power should call the AEP Texas Customer Solutions Center at (877) 373-4858 to determine if their home or facility is able to receive power, or to learn if repairs are required before electric service can be reconnected.