AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) announced Saturday it has launched an investigation into factors that led to outages that left millions of residents without power this week.

Winter storms wreaked havoc across the state, bringing dangerously cold temperatures and snow and ice-covered roads. The storms also caused major issues to the state’s power grid that had the Electric Reliability Council of Texas on blast through the week.

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What were originally supposed to be rotating blackouts in the overnight hours of Sunday turned into outages that lasted hours and even days for millions around the state. On Friday, ERCOT said it ended emergency conditions and was back to normal operations, meaning residents were no longer being asked to conserve energy.

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The PUCT held an emergency meeting Saturday and launched an investigation into the outages as many residents wonder why enough preparations were not made ahead of the historic storms. The commission also approved steps to protect electric customers from the financial effects of the power outages.

“The immediate impact of this terrible weather was the loss of power for millions of Texas households and the financial aftershocks could be devastating,” PUCT chairman DeAnn Walker said. “We must act swiftly to discover not only how this crisis came together, but also take meaningful steps to protect electricity customers.”

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“This week’s weather and associated grid crisis were a nightmare for millions of Texas (sic),” PUCT executive director Thomas Gleeson said. “While the financial implications may drive some electric providers from the marketplace, we will work to ensure their customers can easily transition to a new provider. Customers transitioned to a volunteer provider should contact the new provider to ensure they are on a plan that suits their budget.”

CBSDFW.com Staff