Sharing the Load: Understanding Involuntary Load Shed.

What is involuntary load shed?

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (EROCOT) manages the flow of electricity for around 90% of the state’s electricity grid, about 26 million customers. Whenever there’s a situation where there isn’t enough electricity supply to meet consumer demand (load), ERCOT may instruct your Transmission Distribution Service Provider (TDSP) (CenterPoint, Oncor, AEP Texas, Texas-New Mexico Power) to implement temporary service interruptions. This is done to help protect the electricity grid and is known as involuntary load shedding. For information about your TDSP procedures for implementing involuntary load shedding, initiated by ERCOT, please click the link above that corresponds to the service provider for your service area.

Please know that although involuntary load shedding events are not controlled by Green Mountain Energy, we’ll do our part to keep you informed.

What you should know:

  • It’s most likely to occur during peak hours (typically 5 a.m. – 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.) or extreme weather.
  • It’s used as a last resort when all other means for balancing supply and demand have been exhausted.
  • Outages are temporary and will only last until ERCOT determines that they are no longer required; the length of time depends on conditions.
  • Controlled outages involve the process of temporarily cutting power to parts of the state when the demand for electricity is too high for the electric grid to handle. This is done to protect the integrity of the electric grid. The process is not controlled by Green Mountain Energy or any other retail electricity provider; it is ordered by ERCOT and carried out by your TDSP.
  • All areas serviced by ERCOT have the potential to be affected.

You can help:

If you have power, conserving energy during an involuntary load shedding event can help ERCOT restore service sooner for others. Here are simple ways to reduce your energy usage and keep the power flowing for fellow Texans:

  • In the summer, raise your thermostat 2-3°.
  • If you use an electric heater during the winter, lower your thermostat 1-2°.
  • Unplug nonessential devices and lighting.
  • Avoid using large appliances.

See more energy-savings tips >

We’ve got tips for our small business customers, too:

  • Put your computer’s AC adapter on a power strip that can be turned off, so electricity isn’t pulled continuously.
  • Be sure to unplug chargers once the batteries are full.
  • Open windows, shades and blinds to use daylight instead of turning on overhead lights.
  • Install sensors to automatically turn off lights when no one is present and back on when people return.
  • Set your AC fan to the “auto” position.
  • In the summertime, set your thermostat 4° higher when you’re away for more than four hours.
  • Keep your space cool during the summer with reflective window film or solar screens.