AEP asks Rio Grande Valley consumers to conserve energy

AEP Texas is requesting that consumers in the Rio Grande Valley take conservation measures today, especially from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The request is based on challenges in restoration of service following distribution outages in both areas, according to an AEP news release.

Customers are asked to take the following measures:

>> Set thermostats to a level two-to-three degrees cooler than normal; so, heating/air conditioning systems are not using as much electricity.

>> Close blinds and curtains to keep heat inside.

>> Delay use of large appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines and dryers.

>> Turn off lights in rooms not being used.

Customers who are still without power or lose power today are asked to switch off their large appliances such as the heating and a/c systems, dishwashers, washing machines and dryers. Taking this action will reduce the possibility that breakers will trip again as power is restored to groups of customers in the current cold weather.

The request for conservation from AEP Texas is prompted by cold load issues associated with restoration of service following a series of distribution outages caused by the current weather conditions and was not prompted by a Bulk Electric System Emergency directive from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).

As of 5 a.m. Tuesday morning, approximately 170 customers remained without power in the Rio Grande Valley. Those numbers are expected to fluctuate as the cold weather continues.

Most of the current outages in the Valley are located in Weslaco, Mission and McAllen. Smaller numbers of outages also exist throughout the region.

AEP Texas anticipates restoration of service to most customers later today; however, the cold weather continues to play havoc with electric equipment, resulting in blown fuses, tripped breakers and other equipment failures.