DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – As the historically cold temperatures and power outages continue throughout North Texas, non-essential businesses are being urged to conserve electricity in addition to residents at their homes.
According to Oncor’s outage map, nearly 850,000 customers are without power in the North Texas area due to outages that began as rotating blackouts. However, due to the severity of the winter weather, the rotating blackouts turned into a more controlled format that is leading to hours-long outages.READ MORE: Texas AG Ken Paxton Looking To Oust San Antonio Police Chief William McManus
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which manages the state’s power grid, said it expects the controlled outages to continue the rest of Monday and possibly all day Tuesday.
Along with residents, Dallas council member Adam Bazaldua said Monday he is asking non-essential businesses to do their own part in helping to reduce power use.
“While we all have a part to play in conservation of energy to prevent grid overwhelming, I want to be clear that the task is not one exclusive to residents only. I am urging all non-essential businesses to also do their part as we work through the electricity shortage situation with our energy providers,” Bazaldua said in a statement. “If you do not have to physically open your business and can work remotely, please do so.”
This comes after the city faced some backlash Sunday evening when lights throughout the Downtown Dallas skyline were left on, including special lights for Valentine’s Day.READ MORE: Russ Martin, Longtime North Texas Radio Personality, Found Dead At Frisco Home
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said in a tweet Monday morning that Downtown Dallas Inc. has requested that all downtown buildings leave their external lights off.
“Thank you to our partners at @DtownDallasInc for requesting that our downtown buildings turn off their external lights tonight. I love our skyline at night, but we all need to do our parts to conserve energy.” Johnson said.
Bazaldua added that the Omni Hotel will also be leaving its lights off through Friday, Feb. 19.
“We have thousands of residents experiencing power outages, many with elders and/or young children and it is critical for us to prioritize the safety and wellbeing of all Dallas citizens and that will require diligence and sacrifice from us all,” Bazaldua said.MORE NEWS: Dallas County Reports 570 New COVID-19 Cases, 10 Deaths Saturday
Tips to reduce power use include turning thermostats to 68 degrees or lower, closing blind or shades to reduce the amount of heat that leaves homes, turning off or unplugging non-essential equipment such as small appliances, and trying to avoid using large appliances during peak hours like the mornings and evenings.