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El Paso Leaders urge Public to Help Reduce Energy Consumption to Avoid Rolling Blackouts

City of El Paso leaders are urging the public to do their share to reduce energy consumption during this heat wave to avoid rolling power outages.

El Paso Electric (EPE) has informed the City of El Paso and the El Paso City-County Office of Emergency Management that managed power outages lasting up to 45 minutes may be necessary regionally to maintain the stability of the local electric grid, which is experiencing a high energy demand during this extreme weather period.

“Our city is facing a potentially critical situation. If we are going to address this challenge, we must come together as a community to decrease energy consumption,” Mayor Oscar Leeser said. “El Paso Electric has informed us that if we all implement measures to reduce the demand for electricity during this extreme weather period we may be able to avoid these possible electricity service interruptions.”

El Paso Electric has advised the City that the company does not intend to interrupt service to the general public; however, if it loses another critical system element (i.e., generating unit or transmission line) rolling blackouts may be initiated during peak hours.

“High heat increases electricity use. All city departments have been directed to help conserve electricity.  We are asking the public and businesses to join us in reducing their electricity use as much as possible during peak hours of the day, typically 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.,” City Manager Tommy Gonzalez said. “Together, we can get through this tough period.”

In the event managed outages are implemented throughout El Paso, the utility intends to maintain service at all times to area hospitals, police and fire stations, and most infrastructure designated as critical by the City and the water utility.

The Office of Emergency Management (OEM) will also work with the American Red Cross to set up heat relief centers at the following locations:

  • Armijo Recreation Center, 700 E. 7th St. (Central)
  • Don Haskins Recreation Center, 7400 High Ridge (West)
  • Galatzan Recreation Center, 650 Wallenberg (West)
  • Marty Robbins Recreation Center, 11620 Vista Del Sol (East)
  • Chalio Acosta Sports Center, 4321 Delta (Central)
  • Nations Tobin Aquatic Center, 8831 Railroad (Northeast)
  • El Paso County Warehouse, 1331 N. Fabens (Fabens)
  • El Paso County facility, 435 Vinton Rd. (Vinton)
  • El Paso County facility, 14698 Van Ln. (Montana Vista)
  • Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo Recreation and Wellness Center, 11200 Santos Sanchez (Socorro)

El Paso Electric will keep the City, OEM and all impacted stakeholders updated throughout this process. The City of El Paso will continue to offer assistance throughout this extreme weather event until the energy demand and/or temperatures come down and the managed rolling power outages are no longer necessary.

Should managed outages be implemented, the public is reminded that the elderly and infants are the most vulnerable to heat-related illnesses. Everyone should remember to use the Buddy System to look out for each other during these hot weather days.

Residents with home use medical equipment that require electricity should make necessary arrangements to be prepared in case of a power outage.

Anyone seeking information or needing assistance to cope with the potential power outages should call 2-1-1 and 3-1-1. As a reminder, 9-1-1 should only be used for medical or safety emergencies.

For more information about how to conserve energy or locations of power outages visit: www.epelectric.com.

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One comment

  1. John David Campos

    Whether service interruptions to the general public are intended or not, that they’re even being considered as an option to the vast number of customers in this obviously and unavoidably high temperature area is as remarkable as it is preposterous. The possibility of “losing another critical system element” should be met immediately and preventively with proper action by the El Paso Electric Company, like equipment preparation, maintenance preparedness, and sufficient manpower to implement and respond to such important possibilities. We, the general public, who by definition are “stakeholders” in our lives and communities, if not potential stockholders in the future of our city and its service and utility industries, are not nor should be held responsible to bear any burdens such as this suggestion by the El Paso Electric Company, regardless of the season, condition, or even apparently all-too-willing cooperation by the city government of El Paso.

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