AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The Electric Reliability Council of Texas has ordered utilities to begin rotating electrical outages to compensate for a power shortage linked to the extreme cold weather.
The order took effect Wednesday morning, a day after an ice and snow storm blanketed parts of Texas.
Consumers and businesses are urged to reduce their electricity use. ERCOT had no timetable for when the rotating outages would end.
The ERCOT region includes Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Austin, Corpus Christi, Abilene and the Rio Grande Valley. ERCOT manages the flow of electricity to about 22 million Texas customers.
Rotating outages are defined as "controlled, temporary interruptions of electric service, typically lasting 10-45 minutes per neighborhood."
Critical need customers, such as hospitals and nursing homes, are generally excluded from outages.