Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Rolling Blackouts In Houston & Texas—We All Need A Safety Valve

Rolling blackouts are ongoing in the Houston-area and elsewhere in Texas as the cold weather settles in for a few more days. There is also the prospect of snow and ice.

(Above–Blackout.)

Blogger’s Note—Here is my snow in Houston post.

What steps can you take to conserve energy so that these blackouts can be minimized?

Here is what is suggested in the Houston Chronicle’s Fuel Fix blog

  • Limit electricity usage to only consumption that is absolutely necessary. Turn off all unessential lights, appliances and electronic equipment.
  • Do not use your dishwasher, laundry equipment, hair dryer, coffee maker, pool pump or other home appliances between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. or 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.
  • Reduce the opening and closing of refrigerators, freezers and doors.
  • When at home, open blinds and shades during sunny days to take advantage of the sun’s natural heat
  • Turn your thermostat to 68 degrees or lower in the daytime and 55 degrees at night or when you’re away from home.

Why are we having these rolling blackouts in Texas?

Again from Fuel Fix

“A higher-than expected surge in power use due to the cold weather, combined with up to 50 power generating units going offline unexpectedly, led to the emergency.”

This is at least what the energy companies are saying.

Texas is getting some supplemental electricity from Mexico to help us get through the winter weather.

I guess Texas needs help from Mexico beyond the low-wage labor we all benefit from even as some of us bash immigrants.

Here is a general definition of a rolling blackout

“Rotating outages are controlled, temporary interruptions of electrical service initiated by each utility when supplies of reserve power are exhausted. Without this safety valve, generators would overload and begin shutting down to avoid damage, risking a domino effect of a region-wide outage.”

(Here is a picture of some ND-250 safety valves. Here are some basic facts on safety valves.)

We all need a metaphoric safety valve in life. We all need a release from the pressures of daily life.

It could be reading, working on a blog, exercising, volunteering for a cause we value, keeping up with friends, walking the dog, or whatever helps you complete your life.

These things of value in your life are not the same as a rolling blackout. On the contrary, they may be the times when we feel most alive.

Let’s conserve the energy needed to avoid more blackouts as the cold weather persists in Texas.

Let’s reserve the personal energy we require to have the time and resources to enjoy life beyond what we must do each day to get by.

We can also use our reserves of personal effort to advocate for our political beliefs and to try to make the world a better place.

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February 3, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , ,

3 Comments »

  1. Love your blackout photo. I kept staring at it waiting for the image to load.

    Comment by Sharon Wilson | February 3, 2011

  2. this is common in India
    blackouts or say its life style of majority Indians

    Comment by sm | February 3, 2011

  3. Sharon—-Keep watching. i’m sure it will load soon.

    sm–I’ve read such things about India. Hopefully, things will move forward.

    Thanks for both comments.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | February 4, 2011


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