Controlled Outages in High Demand Events

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) manages the flow of electric power to 26 million Texas customers. Controlled outages can occur when the demand for electricity in the state, also called the load, exceeds the supply of electricity generated. When this happens, utilities are given a directive by ERCOT to reduce, or shed, electric load. This is done by implementing intermittent controlled outages to customers within each utility’s service territory. Load shed is intended to prevent larger uncontrollable outages from occurring. Once the requested amount of load reduction is achieved, controlled outages may continue throughout CPS Energy’s service territory until ERCOT lifts its directive. The goal is to spread the controlled online casino gamesoutages across as many customers as possible to minimize the time each customer is affected. As a result, many CPS Energy customers, except those supporting public safety and well-being, such as trauma hospitals and national security facilities, may be impacted by a necessary load shed event. Usually, before controlled outages are implemented, CPS Energy and utilities across the state will ask their customers to voluntarily conserve energy to reduce the amount of electrical demand statewide. If voluntary conservation measures are not sufficient to balance supply and demand, then load shed is mandated by ERCOT.

Controlled Outages in Transmission Line Overloading Events

ERCOT is continually working to make our grid more reliable, and recently issued new measures to address reliability concerns caused by the risk of overloading various transmission lines during peak demand periods in South Texas. As these transmission lines approach their safety limits, ERCOT may direct CPS Energy and other providers to reduce load through controlled outages in specific areas. If this were to occur, CPS Energy would work to update customers of this situation.

Critical Care (Residential Customers)

If you or a dependent living at home must use electric-powered life-sustaining medical equipment, the CPS Energy

Critical Care Program gives you additional time to pay your bills. To qualify, you must: 1) print and complete CPS Energy’s Critical Care application with your physician; 2) have the physician’s office fax the completed application to CPS Energy at 210-353-3666. Once you are in the Critical free spinsCare Program, you must re-enroll on an annual basis or when moving to a new residence to remain in the Program.

Critical Care Program customers need to know that CPS Energy cannot guarantee the availability of electricity and natural gas services. Don’t wait for an emergency or power outage, make a family emergency plan now. If you have medical equipment that requires electricity or medicine that needs refrigeration, check with your doctor when making your plan. You can find plan ideas at In case of an emergency, please dial 911.

Residential customers dependent on electric-powered life-sustaining medical equipment, such as those designated as Critical Care, in accordance with Public Utility Commission rule §25.497, are encouraged to have a solid back-up plan in the event they lose electricity. It is important to note that these customers are not excluded from controlled outages and may lose power during a load shed event. Anyone who depends on electricity for life-sustaining equipment should have a back-up plan in place.

For additional information on the Critical Care Program, call 210-353-2222.

Critical Load Designation (Commercial and Industrial Customers)

Some Commercial and Industrial customers may have locations designated as a Critical Load facility. Critical Load designation is limited to facilities that provide essential services necessary for the safety and well-being of the community. Examples of this would be large hospitals, regional operational command centers serving the greater San Antonio area, water utility providers, online casino gamesand natural gas providers. Commercial and Industrial customers with a Critical Load designation are not protected from controlled outages in load shed events. Still, they may receive priority in restoring a power outage as much as conditions permit. These customers should still have a solid backup plan. If you feel your facility meets these criteria and should be designated a Critical Load, please fill out the appropriate application.


Energy Conservation

For conservation tips during energy emergencies or any other time, visit

The Public Utility Commission of Texas also has helpful tips at