Breaking down ERCOT alerts

Learn the different levels and their meanings

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) manages the statewide electric grid that powers more than 26 million Texans. Under normal conditions, electricity demand and generation capacity are balanced and no action by consumers is needed; however, that isn’t always the case. To help manage and protect the grid, ERCOT can issue alerts ranging from conservation requests to energy emergency alerts or EEAs. It’s important to understand what each level means and what to do.

EEA Alert

Conservation alert

ERCOT will issue a conservation alert when there is a risk to the electric system. During this alert, it’s important to conserve to prevent an emergency. Remember that every little bit counts and small efforts like waiting to run your dishwasher or your laundry can make a difference. You can find more energy-saving tips here.

EEA Alert 1

ENERGY EMERGENCY ALERTS (EEAS)

EEA1 — Conservation Critical; Risk of Rotating Outages

This is the first level of ERCOT’s energy emergency alerts. It means reserves are low and not expected to recover within 30 minutes. This alert allows ERCOT to call on all available power supplies, including from other grids, if available. With this alert there is a risk of rotating outages and conservation is critical.

EEA Alert 2

EEA 2 — Conservation Critical; Risk of Rotating Outages

This second-level alert happens when reserves are lower than an EEA1 and not expected to recover within 30 minutes. At this point, ERCOT can interrupt power to large industrial customers who have agreed to have their electricity turned off in an emergency. This level also provides ERCOT additional resources to balance the grid, but there’s a risk of rotating outages and conservation remains critical.

EEA Alert 3

EEA 3 — Rotating Outages Likely; Conservation Critical

This is the highest and most severe alert, only issued as a last resort to help protect the reliability of the statewide electric grid. It’s also the alert issued during the February 2021 winter storm. ERCOT takes this action when reserves are extremely low and not expected to recover within 30 minutes. To help bring down demand, ERCOT will order transmission companies to implement rotating outages. With this alert, rotating outages are imminent and conservation is critical.

How can I help?

If we all work together, we can help protect the state’s electric grid and prevent an energy emergency. Remember to use less energy during Power Rush Hour, especially on hot summer days from 2-7 p.m.

You can also monitor the energy grid on ERCOT’s website. During emergencies, PEC members can also visit our website regularly and follow social media channels for the latest updates.

For more detailed information visit ercot.com.