Historical Freeze Causing Outages across the GVEC Service Area
Ice and snow from this historically unprecedented state-wide freeze has caused electric utilities across Texas to deploy controlled rotating outages to help stabilize the Texas energy grid. These rotating outages, which are mandated by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), will continue until the state’s generation reserves exceed the exponentially elevated demands from this lingering, harsh cold spell. In addition to the rotating outages, some GVEC members are experiencing extended outages across the Cooperative’s service territory. Approximately 5,000 Cooperative members were without power as of 8 a.m. Wednesday and response times will continue to be hindered as long as icy conditions remain.
Extended outages are widespread with the highest volume currently in Guadalupe County followed by Lavaca, DeWitt and Gonzales Counties. For safety precautions during this time, restoration efforts are being scheduled from daylight to dark as opposed to the standard 24/7 response. Contract crews and other utility assistance are being called in as necessary. However, the Cooperative says the biggest challenge right now is simply the field environment and its weather-related hurdles.
“While restoring power to our members quickly is our goal, the first priority is to keep our employees safe,” says GVEC General Manager and CEO Darren Schauer. “Our crews are facing tough road conditions, long hours in frigid temperatures, fatigue and more. Naturally, our response times are slowed. To help us prioritize, we ask that members report an outage only in the event you are out of power for more than one hour. This situation is taxing for both our customers and employees. Your continued patience, trust and support is appreciated.”
GVEC is experiencing a high volume of calls. Customer service representatives and additional support staff are in place and working around the clock. Updates are also being posted to the Cooperative’s social media pages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Members can view current outages 24/7 online at www.gvec.org and report outages via TextPower™ by texting OUT to 800.223.4832, the free SmartHub® app available at The App Store and Google Play, or by phone at 800.223.4832.
GVEC is a progressive cooperative focused on delivering products and services that empower the people and communities in South Central Texas. A trusted, local partner since 1938, today GVEC provides dependable electricity, high-speed internet, and beyond the meter services like AC/heating, solar and battery storage solutions, and electrician services. The cooperative proudly serves over 100,000 consumers in surrounding areas through five customer service locations in Cuero, Gonzales, La Vernia, Schertz and Seguin.