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Today, Garland Mayor Scott LeMay requested that all non-essential, non-residential electric customers voluntarily curtail their usage of electricity during the continuing weather event.
Mayor LeMay requested a voluntary reduction of power usage by all retail, industrial, and other non-residential electric customers in order to provide additional capacity to people in their homes. Power needs throughout the state have been greater than the capacity to provide that power. Even though Garland produces much of its own electricity, there is not enough to go around. And Garland does not get to determine what power stays within the City. That is controlled by a state entity that determines how power is distributed throughout much of Texas.
Citizens have been dismayed to see retail and other locations that apparently have power while homes go unheated. That is largely based on geography, specifically, where those businesses are located within the City’s power grid. If located near a critical facility – like a nursing home – businesses (as well as surrounding homes) have power. Those outside the immediate area – even across the street – are subject to “rolling blackouts” and oftentimes do not have power. But, if businesses do not need to be in operation, then by shutting down their electric consumption, they will provide more capacity to be offered to residential customers. Rolling blackouts will roll less often.
The Mayor cautioned that, if the City does not see a significant decrease in voluntary reductions, the City will consider further, mandatory, measures in order to obtain compliance.