California, Texas call for power conservation due to cold weather

Feb. 6, 2014 at 5:43 PM

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- Energy officials in California and Texas urged consumers to cut back on electricity use Thursday due to shortages of natural gas due to cold winter weather.

The Energy Reliability Council of Texas called for conservation measures in the Rio Grande Valley, and the California Independent System Operator urged reductions statewide as gas consumption spiked nationwide.

"While the natural gas shortage is only impacting Southern California power plants, statewide electricity and gas conservation will help free up both electricity and gas supplies for Southern Californians," Cal-ISO said in its announcement. "Customers in both Southern and Northern California are asked to reduce their energy use between 1 p.m. until 10 p.m. PST."

ERCOT said the gas pinch in Texas was being aggravated by a transmission line into the Rio Grande Valley that had been shut off for planned maintenance.

"That line, which is being rebuilt to increase capacity to serve the valley region, cannot be returned to service in time to serve expected power demands tonight [Thursday] and tomorrow [Friday] morning," said Dan Woodfin, ERCOT director of system operations.

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