• Load Shed Information

Load Shed Information

While Sam Houston EC may not control the issues or conditions that have required MISO and/or ERCOT’s order to shed load, we will do everything in our power to restore electricity when we are able to safely do so.
 Load Shed Information

Important Information About Electricity Load Shedding and What It Could Mean to You

The Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) is an independent, not-for-profit, member-based organization responsible for operating the power grid across 15 U.S. states and the Canadian province of Manitoba, including a portion of Texas. 42 million people depend on MISO to generate and transmit the right amount of electricity every minute of every day. MISO is committed to delivering electricity reliably, dependably, and cost-effectively.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) manages the flow of electric power to more than 26 million Texas customers. ERCOT is responsible for ensuring that the supply of electricity is sufficient to meet customer demand (load) for electricity in most of the state.

Sam Houston Electric Cooperative serves consumer-members on both grids, but less than one percent of meters served by Sam Houston are in ERCOT. When electric supply sources become insufficient to meet customer demand, MISO and/or ERCOT begin emergency operations and the demand for electricity must be reduced to avoid uncontrolled blackouts. As a last resort, MISO and/or ERCOT will instruct electric utilities to implement controlled customer outages to reduce the customer demand for electricity on the grid. This is referred to as load shed and will last until the power emergency is resolved by MISO and/or ERCOT.

Typically, before calling for controlled customer outages, MISO and/or ERCOT will take steps to reduce the demand on the electric grid by asking customers to reduce electric usage. The Public Utility Commission of Texas website (Hot and Cold Weather, and General Energy-Saving Tips) provides examples for customers to reduce electricity use at times when involuntary load shedding events may be implemented. More tips are available on SamHouston.net.

Electric utilities, including Sam Houston, are obligated to immediately implement load shed procedures when MISO and/or ERCOT instruct. Because a load shed event is an emergency order from MISO and/or ERCOT based on a shortfall of electricity being generated, electric utilities, including Sam Houston, do not have the information to be able to notify individual customers if they may lose power, when they may lose power or how long the load shed event may last. During customer load shed events:

  • All customers should assume their power could go out without advanced warning. Efforts will be made, as much as possible, to provide advanced notification of pending outages, but circumstances do not always allow that to happen.
  • Customers designated as Critical Load, in accordance with PUC §25.497, are not guaranteed an uninterrupted supply of electricity. It is the responsibility of the retail customer to make necessary arrangements for alternative sources of electric power should a localized outage or load shed event occur.
  • Residential customers dependent on electric-powered medical equipment, such as those designated as Critical Care or Chronic Condition, in accordance with PUC §25.497, are encouraged to have a 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.

The procedure for a customer to apply to be considered a critical care residential customer can be found on Sam Houston EC’s website at: Notice of Life-Sustaining Equipment. The procedure for a critical load industrial customer, or critical load according to commission rules, can be found at: Industrial Critical Load.

Sam Houston will prioritize continuity of service for those customers whose service is critical to the community during an emergency or those whose service provides major support to the integrity of the electric system during an emergency. Examples include hospitals, major airports, and 911.

Regardless of the nature of the load shedding event, Sam Houston Electric Cooperative is committed to ensuring the safe and reliable delivery of electricity to its members. While the company may not control the issues or conditions that have required MISO and/or ERCOT’s order to shed load, we will do everything in our power to restore electricity when we are able to safely do so. In addition, we will work to keep our customers informed about the situation through local media outlets, social media, and direct communications to you.