Winter Storm Watch: Live Updates

Here we will keep updated information on the wholesale market.

Friday, February 19 @ 9:50 a.m

Great news! We are out of the highest energy emergency level and ERCOT has lifted the rolling blackout warning. Prices are now being determined by market conditions (as they should!), which means that as we are writing this message on Friday at 9:50 a.m., your wholesale price is a mere 2.1¢/kWh. Hallelujah! The worst is behind us.

We know it’s still cold, but ERCOT is advising that conservation is still critical so the fragile grid does not get overloaded again. The real-time price in the app is again based off market conditions so take them as your guide as to when to power up or ease up. The Projected Prices are based off ERCOT data and will continue to reflect the assumption of the price spike. But the price on the dial is correct!  

Thursday, February 18 @ 8:05 p.m

On Monday evening the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) cited its “complete authority over ERCOT” to direct that ERCOT set pricing at $9/kWh until the grid could manage the outage situation after being ravaged by the freezing winter storm. But the order was left in place until today. Why? Here is why energy prices were sky high this week.

Thursday, February 18 @ 12:39 p.m

ERCOT is expecting rolling outages across the state to continue at least through tomorrow (Friday) morning’s peak hours. Since ERCOT is still in the highest Energy Emergency Alert, Level 3 (EEA3), this will force real-time prices to stay at the market cap of $9/kWh for the rest of today and until these outages have stopped.

How did we get here? Here is a great article on how and why Texas utility regulator ordered an energy price hike while millions go without power.

You can also read the order from the PUCT here.

Once the rolling outages and EEA3 have been lifted (again, projected for tomorrow morning), prices will go back to reflecting real-time pricing. The range of those prices will depend on how much generation ERCOT can get back online, and how fast.

Wednesday, February 17 @ 8:44p.m.

ERCOT has reported significant progress Wednesday night in restoring power to customers impacted by the outages and has expressed optimism about continued progress. Get an update here.

Prices will likely remain at extreme levels until generation is restored to normal. This is still expected to take at least a few more days.

Tuesday, February 16 @ 1:44 p.m.

Governor Greg Abbott today declared the reform of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) an emergency item this legislative session. In declaring this item an emergency, the Governor is calling on the legislature to investigate ERCOT and ensure Texans never again experience power outages on the scale they have seen over the past several days. Read more.

Monday, February 15 @ 6:32 p.m.

ERCOT’s ability to provide power has been limited by the ability of power generators of all sources, including natural gas, wind, and solar, to generate power for the grid.

To avoid large scale blackouts and damage to the grid, ERCOT began implementing outages to preserve the integrity of the power grid while the companies that generate power work to restore power generation.

Tomorrow's demand and pricing are looking to be very similar to today with likely continued outages into Tuesday morning. Tomorrow afternoon is likely to have lower prices than in the morning and late evening. Elevated prices are expected to continue till the end of the week.

This storm has become significantly worse than anybody predicted. We hope you stay safe during this time. We will get through this together. We will continue to provide nightly updates on what the next day's grid conditions look like. You can also get updates about market information throughout the week here.

Monday, February 15 @ 5:32 p.m.

Governor Greg Abbott today announced that the State of Texas is deploying maximum resources to local officials throughout the state to respond to severe winter weather and to restore power to our communities. State agencies are sending resources and personnel to help local officials clear roadways and to assist essential workers, such as healthcare professionals and power grid workers, in carrying out their essential duties.

Furthermore, Governor Abbott and the Texas Military Department have deployed National Guard across Texas to conduct welfare checks and to assist local authorities in transitioning Texans in need to one of the 135 local warming centers that the state has helped established across Texas. Read more here.

Monday, February 15 @ 4:59 p.m.

Grid operator has restored power to 500,000 households. ERCOT and Texas electric companies working nonstop to restore power to those still waiting. Read more here.

Monday, February 15 @ 7:05 a.m.

President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. declared that an emergency exists in the State of Texas and ordered federal assistance to supplement state and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions resulting from a severe winter storm. Funding measures will include mass care and sheltering, and FEMA is authorized touse necessary equipment and resources to help ease the impacts of the winter weather emergency.

Monday, February 15 @ 1:25 a.m.

ERCOT has declared an EEA 3. Energy conservation is critical. Rotating outages are underway to reduce demand on the electric system. We urge Texans to put safety first during this time. Traffic lights and other infrastructure may be temporarily without power. Almost 10,000 MW of generation lost due to sub-freezing conditions. Read more here.

Monday, February 15 @ 1:12 a.m.

ERCOT has declared an EEA 2. Consumers are urged to reduce electricity use. Rotating outages may be needed to protect the system.

Monday, February 15 @ 12:17 a.m.

ERCOT has declared an EEA 1. Energy conservation is needed. There are no rotating outages at this time.

Sunday, February 14 @ 6:12 p.m.

Prices today so far have been lower than yesterday as load has been below ERCOT's forecast and wind produced more than ERCOT was expecting. But prices are likely to go higher as we approach the evening peak demand period.

ERCOT is forecasting record demand again tomorrow with temperatures expected to drop into the low teens in Houston and to single digits in Dallas. Prices tomorrow are likely to be worse than today, based on ERCOT Day Ahead market prices.

The early part of the day is likely to have lower prices than the afternoon and evening, as temperatures are expected to decline throughout the day. We expect these conditions to persist through Tuesday with elevated prices continuing till the end of the week.

Sunday, February 14 @ 2:28 p.m.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is asking consumers and businesses to reduce their electricity use as much as possible Sunday, Feb. 14 through Tuesday, Feb. 16.

"We are experiencing record-breaking electric demand due to the extreme cold temperatures that have gripped Texas," said ERCOT President and CEO Bill Magness. "At the same time, we are dealing with higher-than-normal generation outages due to frozen wind turbines and limited natural gas supplies available to generating units. We are asking Texans to take some simple, safe steps to lower their energy use during this time." Get more information and conservation tips here.

Sunday, February 14 @ 10:50 a.m.

The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) has received approximately $1.3 billion in Emergency Rental and Utility Payment Assistance funds from the newly passed Coronavirus Relief Bill Rental Assistance Program. TDHCA is using the funds to help Texas renters pay rent and utility bills (including past due rent and utilities). Get more information here.

Saturday, February 13 @ 5:43 p.m.

So far today, through 5pm central, prices have averaged about $2/kWh. Total ERCOT demand today has so far looked similar to yesterday, but wholesale prices have come in considerably higher than yesterday. ERCOT is forecasting that tomorrow's peak demand will break the all time winter record. Prices tomorrow are likely to be worse than today, based on the ERCOT day ahead market prices.

The most expensive hours of the day are likely to be during the morning peak, from 7am to 10pm, and during the evening peak, between 6pm and 8pm. We expect these conditions to persist into early next week, when the coldest temperatures are forecasted to arrive Monday night and into Tuesday morning.

Saturday, February 13 @ 2:25 p.m.

If the forecast and prices are too extreme for you right now, we understand if you want to switch providers. While we value you as a member, we want what is best for your wallet and family even more.

To Switch:

  • You do not need to contact us. Enroll with a new provider and they will switch you over.
  • Switch today with a new provider. TDUs do not process switches over the weekend. Otherwise, you will be able to switch on Monday.
  • Remember, we do not have early termination fees.
  • Find a short-term plan. These pricing events are extremely rare. So once this storm has passed, we will be here waiting for you.
  • Get more information about switching and our recommended plans here.

Friday, February 12 @ 5:40 p.m.

The cold weather drove electricity demand to near-record levels today, with pricing averaging about 30¢/kWh. That incremental demand is mostly served by gas-fueled power plants, whose operating costs are extremely high right now because wholesale market natural gas prices have also temporarily spiked during the cold snap.

Unfortunately, similar conditions are expected tomorrow. System load tomorrow is forecasted to reach levels similar to the ones seen today and the high natural gas prices caused prices in the ERCOT Day Ahead wholesale market to clear at very high levels again.

These conditions are expected to persist into early next week, when the coldest temperatures are forecasted to arrive Monday night and into Tuesday morning.

Friday, February 12 @ 11:23 a.m.

ERCOT prices are well above normal today and system demand is approaching the all-time winter record as temperatures through most of the state are below freezing. The power plants with the highest operating costs are being relied upon to meet this extra demand. Most of these power plants use natural gas as fuel, and cold temperatures have caused daily natural gas prices to trade at prices as high as 100x normal levels

Thursday, February 11 @ 4:51 p.m.

For tomorrow, ERCOT is expecting elevated pricing again during the morning and evening peak hours. They are also projecting higher prices than we are used to seeing during the middle of the day. To minimize your exposure to the most expensive hours, shift usage away from the peak periods and minimize any non-essential usage throughout the day.

Thursday, February 11 @ 4:48 p.m.

Wholesale prices remained elevated throughout the day today because total ERCOT load came in well above the previous day’s forecast. Temperatures were much colder than ERCOT had anticipated, especially in the Houston area. ERCOT had to rely on very expensive, fast responding generation to meet this incremental demand, leading to the elevated prices throughout the day.

For today, you can see that load came in almost 20% above forecast for most of the hours of the day.. You can find the forecast vs actual load data here:

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