Who is the Electricity Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT)? ERCOT is the entity that manages the flow of electric power to over 26 million Texas customers, including Kerrville Public Utility Board (KPUB) customers. ERCOT is responsible for ensuring the supply of electricity is enough to meet the customer demand (load).
ERCOT begins emergency operations when the electric supply provided by all power generation is not enough to meet the customer load. During an energy emergency, the demand for power must be decreased to avoid uncontrolled blackouts. Typically, before ERCOT issues controlled customer outages, they may ask customers to voluntarily reduce electric usage.
As a last resort, after the highest energy emergency level is met, ERCOT will direct electric utilities to cut power to customers to reduce the customer demand for electricity, also known as the “directed load shed.”
KPUB and other electric utilities are obligated to immediately implement load shed procedures when directed by ERCOT. Failure to implement load shedding quickly could result in the failure of the Texas power grid.
During an ERCOT directed load shedding event:
- Customers must be prepared for a possible power outage without advanced warning. Our best efforts will be made to notify our customers of an ERCOT-directed load shed, but circumstances do not always allow that to happen.
- Customers designated as critical load, in accordance with KPUB’s policy and guidelines, are not guaranteed an uninterrupted supply of electricity. It is the responsibility of the customer to arrange for alternative sources of electric power in the event of a local outage or ERCOT-directed load shed event.
Procedures to be placed on KPUB’s critical load registry list are on KPUB’s website at www.kpub.com/criticalload.
- Customers dependent on electric-powered medical equipment, such as those designated through KPUB’s medical necessity customer list, does not guarantee an uninterrupted, regular or continuous power supply. We encourage all of our customers on the KPUB medical necessity list to develop an emergency plan in the case of a sustained outage. Your plan should include the use of emergency backup power like a generator.
Procedures to be considered a medical necessity residential customer, or a critical load customer, are on KPUB’s website at www.kpub.com/medicalnecessity.
- KPUB will prioritize power delivery to our substations that serve our hospitals (Peterson Health, Kerrville VA Medical Center and the Kerrville State Hospital).
- Load shed is a mandatory emergency order from ERCOT based on a shortfall of power generation. Therefore, KPUB may not have the information to notify individual customers if they may lose power, when they lose power, or how long the load shed event may last.
- In an extreme energy emergency, ERCOT may require electric utilities to shed large amounts of load over long periods of time. In these instances, electric utilities like KPUB may not have the ability to rotate outages without risking the stability of the entire electric grid. When this happens, some customers may not have power for an extended period of time. These outages are critical for ensuring the integrity of the state’s electric grid and preventing an uncontrolled system-wide blackout, which could be long-lasting and have a significant impact on all aspects of life.
- KPUB, like all electric utilities in ERCOT, is required to comply with all ERCOT directions for cutting power until ERCOT ends the energy emergency.
KPUB’s website has tips at https://www.kpub.com/rotatingoutages to help customers reduce electricity use and stay safe at times when load shedding events may be implemented.
KPUB is committed to ensuring the safe and reliable delivery of electricity to our customers. While KPUB may not control the issues or conditions that require ERCOT’s order to shed load, we will do everything in our power to restore electricity when we are able to safely do so in these emergency events. We will also work to keep our customers informed during these events through local media outlets, social media, email notifications and direct communications to you.
KPUB is overseen by a five-member board of trustees who serve without compensation and who are responsible to the City of Kerrville for the management and control of the system. KPUB is a responsive and efficient locally-owned provider of reliable, high-quality utility service at the lowest responsible price.