With the crazy weather sweeping the U.S. right now, you’ve probably heard about all the power outages that are happening. But nowhere are these power outages more severe than in Texas. It’s certainly an unprecedented situation for the state, but it’s also a crisis everyone should be concerned about. That’s why Lightning Bug Electric is here to talk about what we can learn from the recent blackouts in Texas, and why you need to be prepared in case a crisis like this ends up striking your area.
The Texas Power Grid
Even in colder parts of the country, electric grids often aren’t equipped to handle extreme temperatures. So in Texas, where wind chills that feel like they are below zero are virtually unheard of, you can imagine the kind of strain this weather put on peoples’ electrical systems. Utilities in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi have also found themselves unprepared for these type of storm systems. However, residents of Texas were hit particularly hard, with power prices in the state rising exponentially as the demand for electricity increased. Meanwhile, the state’s coal, natural gas, crude, wind, and solar production all dropped, and an estimated four hundred million-plus people ended up without power.
Texas’s grid is designed to withstand extreme heat, not extreme cold. But more importantly, Texas is the only state in the country with a completely deregulated power market. While this has allowed various companies to offer energy at a cheap price, it has also led to the state’s power infrastructure becoming less reliable. To wit, the big difference between Texas’s grid and the rest of the country’s power supply systems is that Texas’s is not connected to any larger interstate network of grids. In Texas, the only grid operator is the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT. ERCOT connects hundreds of infrastructure owners in the state, all vying for a piece of the energy market. But when people talk about “the grid” in relation to Texas, it all falls under the banner of ERCOT. So when ERCOT does not have enough reserve power, the rest of the state’s energy suppliers have no other source to provide Texans with the electricity they need.
The other important factor to consider here is climate change. Extreme weather events have caused a 67% increase in power outages in the United States since the year 2000. That’s resulted in multiple catastrophes across the country, from the recent Texas blackouts to the devastating California wildfires. Bottom line: climate change is making power outages more frequent and more severe, and it is imperative that every homeowner in the U.S. do everything they can to prepare themselves for the possibility of rolling blackouts in their state.
Lightning Bug Electric Is Here to Help
At Lightning Bug Electric, our skilled and experienced electricians are here to help you face your changing energy needs and protect your household from the effects of climate change. Offering surge protection, home safety upgrades, and a range of other services for residential and commercial properties, we promise to do everything we can to ensure your home or business stays comfortable and secure.