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It's Freezing in Texas, please shut the freezer door up north......


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3 hours ago, coopersdad said:

your power is cut off in 15-30 minute increments every 4/5 hours.  

Thanks. I have heard of the term, but never knew what it was.

And it has begun.. Our power is now out. 

Edited by ffweasel
Power just went out.
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Sorry, well behind on this thread and not going to try and get caught up. Went to a hotel Monday that had power after we were basically 40 minutes off, 5 minutes on, repeating. Was awesome. Warm, grea

Seems like kind of a #### thing to say when its 10 degrees and there are millions of people without electricity.

I’VE GOT THE POWER! Very glad to be back. 

8 hours ago, joffer said:

no outages yet.  I’m actually out in Cedar Park.  Hearing there could be some rolling blackouts tonight or tomorrow though.

Our power just went down again. Took a dozen pulls to fire up the generator this time, it was covered in 4-5 inches of snow.

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Ugh, hope you guys are doing ok. One thing I definitely didn't appreciate until you all explained it was that you have electric heat. With the grid not being able to keep up and the rolling black outs, that can cause real problems. If our gas ever stopped flowing we'd be hosed. Pipes freezing is my biggest fear when it gets cold, hopefully you guys don't have to deal with that. 24 hours and we should be past the worst of it, hopefully you can make it that long. 

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Do you guys in the southern states have electric baseboard heat? Space heaters? The concept of electric heat is pretty foreign to me. Presumably everybody has electric heat over gas because it's cheaper to install and not needed often?

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11 minutes ago, whoknew said:

Been without electricity since 2am. It’s 9 degrees here in Austin. Let’s hope they turn it back on before too long. 

I’m in Austin as well. I’m freezing. 🥶 Wearing layers and multiple blankets. 

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5 minutes ago, ffweasel said:

I’m in Austin as well. I’m freezing. 🥶 Wearing layers and multiple blankets. 

I don’t understand what is going on. They said there were going to be rotations that lasted about 40 minutes. That was 5 hours ago. 

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7 hours ago, JaxBill said:

And 90% or more of homes have electric heat.

Ah-ha, was not aware. Thanks :thumbup: Life is different up here where we always get all 4 seasons.

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1 hour ago, FBG26 said:

Do you guys in the southern states have electric baseboard heat? Space heaters? The concept of electric heat is pretty foreign to me. Presumably everybody has electric heat over gas because it's cheaper to install and not needed often?

No. The electric heat we refer to is generally heat pump and/or electric strips as part of the HVAC system. Designed really to take the chill off and heat the house in an extreme emergency but not really for comfort.  

Space heaters are a whole 'nother issue. Usually during these cold snaps those become a leading cause of death either from accidental house fires or carbon monoxide poisoning. So I cringe when I hear those get suggested.

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8 hours ago, JaxBill said:

And 90% or more of homes have electric heat.

That’s the part I didn’t realize

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4 minutes ago, JaxBill said:

@JohnHonore: Temperatures across Texas as of 8 am CST. This map is amazing. -13°F in Dumas. -10°F at Amarillo. Widespread single-digit readings. No part of the state is above 25°F - much less freezing! #TXwx https://twitter.com/JohnHonore/status/1361320947622510598/photo/1

This boggles my mind. Parts of Texas are only 10 degrees warmer than Minneapolis. The whole dang country is freezing. 

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40 minutes ago, Ron Swanson said:

No. The electric heat we refer to is generally heat pump and/or electric strips as part of the HVAC system. Designed really to take the chill off and heat the house in an extreme emergency but not really for comfort.  

Space heaters are a whole 'nother issue. Usually during these cold snaps those become a leading cause of death either from accidental house fires or carbon monoxide poisoning. So I cringe when I hear those get suggested.

Hang in there guys. It is always kind of a joke up here when one of the southern states gets a cold spell. People are like "meh! It snows here all the time. Sissies!" What they don't realize is the things we take for granted like a two stage high efficiency gas furnace is not used there. A fleet of snow plow drivers who are used to running for blizzards? Not there. Without the infrastructure in place to handle the extreme weather... it is a serious issue. 

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2 hours ago, FBG26 said:

Ugh, hope you guys are doing ok. One thing I definitely didn't appreciate until you all explained it was that you have electric heat. With the grid not being able to keep up and the rolling black outs, that can cause real problems. If our gas ever stopped flowing we'd be hosed. Pipes freezing is my biggest fear when it gets cold, hopefully you guys don't have to deal with that. 24 hours and we should be past the worst of it, hopefully you can make it that long. 

Most central gas heat systems still require electric blowers to distribute the heat through the house. 

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Just now, top dog said:

Hang in there guys. It is always kind of a joke up here when one of the southern states gets a cold spell. People are like "meh! It snows here all the time. Sissies!" What they don't realize is the things we take for granted like a two stage high efficiency gas furnace is not used there. A fleet of snow plow drivers who are used to running for blizzards? Not there. Without the infrastructure in place to handle the extreme weather... it is a serious issue. 

Just like how when Texans mock Yankees struggling in heat waves when most of them don't have air conditioning? 👀😁

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The lack of information from the Governor, Mayor, City Council, Austin Energy, State energy, etc is pretty stunning. 
 

They seem to be keeping with the “rolling blackouts” lie. 

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4 minutes ago, [icon] said:

Most central gas heat systems still require electric blowers to distribute the heat through the house. 

True. We have radiant heat and the boiler still requires electricity. But either way, the cold isn't likely to cause issues with the electric grid here since we're not using the electric to directly heat things. 

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It can take 3 times as much electricity to heat a home vs. cool a home.  Thus why they're getting pummeled.  Hang in there guys...drip water from the faucets,  Bundle up and open cabinets to expose pipes to rest of house.

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10 minutes ago, whoknew said:

The lack of information from the Governor, Mayor, City Council, Austin Energy, State energy, etc is pretty stunning. 
 

They seem to be keeping with the “rolling blackouts” lie. 

According to ERCOT, they’re down 30,000 MW of capacity.  That’s incredible.

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3 minutes ago, joffer said:

According to ERCOT, they’re down 30,000 MW of capacity.  That’s incredible.

Right. I understand the need for rolling blackouts. But I highly doubt the plan was to keep some areas down for 7.5 hours (and counting) at a time. 

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So, I use a wholesale electric provider in Houston.  Loved them.  For the past 18 months or so my all in electricity price has been about $0.08 /kWh.  Their ap let’s me see how much juice I’m using and the wholesale price I’m paying.  I don’t normally check it and they are great at emailing with potential price surges predominately in the summer.  So yeah it occasionally will spike to 25, 30, 35 cents per kWh so you watch your electric use during peak periods.  Pretty simple stuff to help lower costs and level off demand.  
Last Thursday  I got an alert that with cold temperatures expect price surges. Ok no big deal.  I’m at the office all day and we don’t use that much power during the day on a weekday so I don’t think much of it.  Friday I get another email with price surges so I take a look at the ap and pricing is about $2.50/kWh.  Wtf. From February 1st - 10th I average 30kwh per day and my daily price is about $0.75 per day.  On Thursday my electric cost 22 bucks for the day.  On Friday it was another 20 bucks for the day. I wake up Saturday morning and me price per kWh was $8.00 :shock:  I had a few errands to run and told the family do not use any electricity that day. But ffs at that price and normal weekend usage I’d be paying over 200 bucks for the day.  I got home and my provider sent an urgent email strongly suggesting to change energy provider immediately.  I did.  They also called and texted me to tell me the same.  
Thankfully my provider was able to switch out on Saturday.  Wholesale electric cost is currently showing at $9 kWh and not expected to go below $7 for at least the next 12 hours.  

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21 minutes ago, guru_007 said:

So, I use a wholesale electric provider in Houston.  Loved them.  For the past 18 months or so my all in electricity price has been about $0.08 /kWh.  Their ap let’s me see how much juice I’m using and the wholesale price I’m paying.  I don’t normally check it and they are great at emailing with potential price surges predominately in the summer.  So yeah it occasionally will spike to 25, 30, 35 cents per kWh so you watch your electric use during peak periods.  Pretty simple stuff to help lower costs and level off demand.  
Last Thursday  I got an alert that with cold temperatures expect price surges. Ok no big deal.  I’m at the office all day and we don’t use that much power during the day on a weekday so I don’t think much of it.  Friday I get another email with price surges so I take a look at the ap and pricing is about $2.50/kWh.  Wtf. From February 1st - 10th I average 30kwh per day and my daily price is about $0.75 per day.  On Thursday my electric cost 22 bucks for the day.  On Friday it was another 20 bucks for the day. I wake up Saturday morning and me price per kWh was $8.00 :shock:  I had a few errands to run and told the family do not use any electricity that day. But ffs at that price and normal weekend usage I’d be paying over 200 bucks for the day.  I got home and my provider sent an urgent email strongly suggesting to change energy provider immediately.  I did.  They also called and texted me to tell me the same.  
Thankfully my provider was able to switch out on Saturday.  Wholesale electric cost is currently showing at $9 kWh and not expected to go below $7 for at least the next 12 hours.  

Are you a consultant currently texting with a team member about this exact topic? LOL. Buddy of mine is worried about the same thing.

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31 minutes ago, whoknew said:

Right. I understand the need for rolling blackouts. But I highly doubt the plan was to keep some areas down for 7.5 hours (and counting) at a time. 

From my limited understanding the plan was obviously to have about 40 minute rollovers, but they ended up not having enough power to turn us back on and roll it elsewhere.

I’m making some hot cocoa. 🥶

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14 minutes ago, ffweasel said:

From my limited understanding the plan was obviously to have about 40 minute rollovers, but they ended up not having enough power to turn us back on and roll it elsewhere.

I’m making some hot cocoa. 🥶

I think that’s right.  rolling blackouts work if you’re 10-20% short of needed capacity.  if they’re missing 30GW of 70GW, I don’t think it works.  

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1 hour ago, [icon] said:

Just like how when Texans mock Yankees struggling in heat waves when most of them don't have air conditioning? 👀😁

Really? I've never bothered to look at any data, but I'd have thought most of us have AC. We have the infrastructure, but we ##### about the heat because we choose to live here to avoid it. 

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2 minutes ago, MAC_32 said:

Really? I've never bothered to look at any data, but I'd have thought most of us have AC. We have the infrastructure, but we ##### about the heat because we choose to live here to avoid it. 

You'd be surprised then. I lived in SF for 5 years and the lack of AC was brutal for the one month a year in the Bay (south bay especially) where it was basically as hot as TX summer.

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Been without power since 2:20 other than a few intermittent 3 min power sessions (yes, 3 min of power, then right back off). No way to cook. Freezing. I hedged my bet and made a hotel reservation since they have power. We can check in at 3. No coffee, peanut butter on bread for breakfast. No idea what lunch will be. Just about as miserable as we could possibly be. And having to listen to this rolling blackout load of garbage is just a slap in the face.

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13 minutes ago, joffer said:

I think that’s right.  rolling blackouts work if you’re 10-20% short of needed capacity.  if they’re missing 30GW of 70GW, I don’t think it works.  

Are you saying the entire state of Texas is missing 40%+ of its power supply?

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11 minutes ago, DallasDMac said:

Been without power since 2:20 other than a few intermittent 3 min power sessions (yes, 3 min of power, then right back off). No way to cook. Freezing. I hedged my bet and made a hotel reservation since they have power. We can check in at 3. No coffee, peanut butter on bread for breakfast. No idea what lunch will be. Just about as miserable as we could possibly be. And having to listen to this rolling blackout load of garbage is just a slap in the face.

We're using the stovetop for pancakes this morning. Had to use a grill lighter to light them though. But yes it’s pretty miserable. Wife works at a hotel so depending on how long this goes on we may go that route as well. 

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Look at the bright side.............we don't have to worry about our perishables.

Mother in Fort Worth has went to a friends house.  She was w/o power since 2am.  At 830 it was 48 inside, so I told her to remember living in Iowa and drive the 3 miles.

We have not lost power here 1 time, but even w/ bedroom doors closed and all vents closed that are not in living room / sun room / kitchen, heater is running full time to keep house at 60 degrees, and that includes gas fireplace.  

1st casualty was brought in by our GoldenDoodle............dove did not make it through the night.  I guess the dog thought we were hunting.

It's odd how some people have lost power for 6/7 hours in the rolling blackouts, while others (us) have not lost it once.

Buddy of mine WAS on a "on demand" electric program.  Cost normally is about 10 cents / unit.  Yesterday it was 22 dollars.  He finally got through and changed, but he estimated that his electric bill for yesterday was about $180.

 

 

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One downside of shifting so much electricity generation to natural gas means that it’s in low supply when also needed for heating.

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10 minutes ago, joffer said:

here’s an interesting thread - https://twitter.com/cohan_ds/status/1361346284230234112?s=21

not sure if it’s 40%, but it’s more than 30%.  

Thanks for that thread.  The first thing I found when I started reading about this was the fossil fuel peeps blaming solar and wind.  Sounded semi-plausible and made me want to learn more, but I guess the limitations of wind in this kind of weather were planned for, and solar is exceeding expected supply ATM.  It's mostly an infrastructure thing I guess.

Regardless, good luck to all of you down there.  We were without power for 18 hours a couple winters ago and it got down into the 40s overnight.  Sent the kids and wife to a friend's house and bundled up while I took care of the house, but remember thinking that's probably not feasible for more than a very short stretch.  Can't imagine the impact across a state the size of TX.

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From ABC13’s Travis Herzog (weather guy):

🚨 This is a serious situation. We are trying to avoid a *statewide* power failure. If you have power, do your part to conserve energy!!!🚨 

There is a “systemwide power failure” across Texas. There are no longer any rolling blackouts. Power generation plants have actually gone offline. 

If you have no power, you may not have it back for a day or two. And if you have power, you still may lose it.

Conserve energy, and do everything you can to stay warm.

We will get through this, but it’s going to be a challenge. Hang in there, friends.

10:30AM UPDATE: Yes, this map is not accurate, but it’s the best we have right now. Mayor Turner just announced that CenterPoint now says around 750,000 of their customers (1/4 of their total) have no power.

⚠️ If you have power, the best way to love on your fellow Texans is to CONSERVE, CONSERVE, CONSERVE! This is not the day to catch up on doing the laundry! Put the thermostat at 65 or lower. Your neighbors without power have indoor temperature closer to 50, and it’s only going to get COLDER tonight.

Latest power info: https://abc13.com/weather/systemwide-power-failure-reported-during-winter-storm/10340431/

Tips to stay warm: https://abc13.com/no-electricity-here-are-some-tips-to-stay-warm/10341013/

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4 hours ago, whoknew said:

Been without electricity since 2am. It’s 9 degrees here in Austin. Let’s hope they turn it back on before too long. 

My BIL/SIL are in Austin. Been wo power since 2am. And their pipes are frozen, no running water. They do have a gas stove/cooktop. They are boiling snow for water. 

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Dumb question - Is the demand for electricity the biggest issue when it gets absurdly cold in southern states? Not trying to minimize anything, just thinking back to my comment about chuckling about the reaction to super cold weather by people living in the southern US. When I made that comment I was thinking about people driving on icy roads or just generally not having the proper attire for such conditions -- things that we're generally more prepared for here and which can probably be avoided simply by staying inside. But I didn't appreciate how the cold would cause such a huge surge in electricity use, and people wouldn't be able to heat their homes / businesses. So I'm just wondering if that's really the biggest safety issue or if there are other things that I wouldn't think about. 

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2 hours ago, guru_007 said:

So, I use a wholesale electric provider in Houston.  Loved them.  For the past 18 months or so my all in electricity price has been about $0.08 /kWh.  Their ap let’s me see how much juice I’m using and the wholesale price I’m paying.  I don’t normally check it and they are great at emailing with potential price surges predominately in the summer.  So yeah it occasionally will spike to 25, 30, 35 cents per kWh so you watch your electric use during peak periods.  Pretty simple stuff to help lower costs and level off demand.  
Last Thursday  I got an alert that with cold temperatures expect price surges. Ok no big deal.  I’m at the office all day and we don’t use that much power during the day on a weekday so I don’t think much of it.  Friday I get another email with price surges so I take a look at the ap and pricing is about $2.50/kWh.  Wtf. From February 1st - 10th I average 30kwh per day and my daily price is about $0.75 per day.  On Thursday my electric cost 22 bucks for the day.  On Friday it was another 20 bucks for the day. I wake up Saturday morning and me price per kWh was $8.00 :shock:  I had a few errands to run and told the family do not use any electricity that day. But ffs at that price and normal weekend usage I’d be paying over 200 bucks for the day.  I got home and my provider sent an urgent email strongly suggesting to change energy provider immediately.  I did.  They also called and texted me to tell me the same.  
Thankfully my provider was able to switch out on Saturday.  Wholesale electric cost is currently showing at $9 kWh and not expected to go below $7 for at least the next 12 hours.  

sounds like they have a minimal amount of baseload contracts and have been living off of buying power at market prices in the spot/day market.  Great when there is excess.  Nasty introduction to real life market demand pricing.  Sorry man - that sucks hard. 

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Just now, FBG26 said:

- Is the demand for electricity the biggest issue when it gets absurdly cold in southern states?

Yes. In this case probably roughly 3 times the demand than a heat wave.

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