Texas Cannot Turn Off Your Power – Unless They Really Want To
So far, so good for the Texas power grid. During extreme weather though, "rolling blackouts" may be called for. Even though it doesn't seem like they're allowed.
If you don't pay your bill, you can pretty much count on your utilities getting cut off. Trust me, I know.
That seems to be the only way it can legally happen though, except for this rolling blackout thing. Which, while not uncommon, really aren't allowed during extreme heat.
According to PUCT:
An electric utility cannot disconnect a customer anywhere in its service territory on a day when: (1) the previous day’s highest temperature did not exceed 32 degrees Fahrenheit, and the temperature is predicted to remain at or below that level for the next 24 hours, according to the nearest National Weather Service (NWS) reports; or (2) the NWS issues a heat advisory for any county in the electric utility’s service territory, or when such advisory has been issued on any one of the preceding two calendar days. - PUCT
What Is A Rolling Blackout?
So, what's up with the rolling blackouts then?
First off, in case you don't know, a rolling blackout is a "forced" blackout as opposed to one caused by weather or equipment failure.
Basically, you shut off one chunk of the grid for a short time to avoid the entire grid being shut down for long periods of time.
Wait, What About PUCT Policy?
I get it. It's funny though that PUCT policy, as quoted above, says they can't do that. Weirdly worded policy, that comes down to this:
In the eyes of Texas, something that can't be done during extreme weather is totally fine ... if there's extreme weather.
That's kinda PUCT up.