Sunnova helps keep your power on when you need it most
Residents of southeast Texas are watching the power grid more closely than major league baseball. Since the deep freeze in February 2021, Texans have scrutinized the state’s ability to provide a constant power supply since enduring the days-long blackout.
As May of 2022 brought unseasonably warm temperatures, anxieties escalated. Texans saw not one, but six power generators fail after being forced to fire up even though they were scheduled for repairs. In response, ERCOT asked residents to conserve power to help prevent a widespread outage as temperatures approached triple digits.
Sitting in their sweltry living rooms, many wondered if this scenario foreshadowed summer. How often will we see power outages in Houston? After all, extreme weather isn’t going away anytime soon. Historic rainfall, scorching temperatures and persistent flooding (due to sea-level rise) are expected to prevail across southeast Texas.*
Still, Houston’s thriving job market, low cost of living and sunny weather make the city of 2.3 million an attractive place to settle down. By preparing your home for the future, you can live comfortably — despite what happens to the power grid in Houston.
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Houston’s Power Grid Challenges & How They Impact You
A soaring demand for electricity, triggered by extreme weather, has caused concern for the grid’s vulnerability. Texans were able to conserve enough power this spring to keep the grid from slipping into a state of emergency — but will that always be the case?
One of the most frustrating issues during the heatwave was transmission line congestion. This made it impossible to move excess energy generated by wind and solar facilities in West Texas to metro areas like Houston.*
Building new transmission lines is a promising solution. But between land-use disputes, logistical nightmares and deciding who will pay for the upgrade, this tactic is no small feat.
Another challenge is generator maintenance. This work is complex; it requires heavy equipment, repair crews and can close a facility for days, even weeks.* Spring and fall are ideal for preparing equipment for peak demand, as temperatures are milder and energy use is lower. But repairs are delayed when heatwaves hit earlier than usual. As coal and natural gas power plants defer maintenance, the chance of an outage — an unplanned outage — increases during the hottest months.
What does this mean for Houston residents? Be prepared, say industry experts. Whether it’s a rolling blackout to help maintain the grid or an unexpected generator failure, Houstonians should be ready.
How to Plan for Rolling Blackouts and Electric Outages in HoustonWhat’s the best way to plan for a Houston power outage?
Be sure you have necessities like water, non-perishable food and a way to cool off if your power goes out in a heatwave. A portable generator is better than nothing, but these gas-powered devices are noisy and can pose a fire hazard (not to mention sky-high gasoline prices).
The best solution for homeowners who want to keep
their homes functioning is to install solar plus battery storage. When you commit to solar and energy storage in Texas, not only are you locking in your electricity cost for 25 years, but you’re also saving the clean energy your panels produce to use later, like when the grid goes down.*
A Houston power outage can be concerning, given what so many residents went through during the deep freeze. Even the threat of a rolling blackout in Texas can elevate anxiety levels and add stress. But energy shortages are coming, and not just to the Lone Star State. Between the conflict in Ukraine and the number of coal-fired plants being retired, many areas of the U.S. are susceptible to a blackout. Energy analysts at CNN warn that Americans must get used to a less reliable electric grid as the climate crisis sets in.*
But as a Texas homeowner, you don’t have to settle for unreliable power. When you choose solar with a battery for your Houston home, you can ensure your energy security. By generating, storing and consuming your own power, you can declare your energy independence and keep your electricity flowing, even on the hottest days. So, grab your crackerjacks and get back to watching baseball — not the power grid.