Entergy, Winter storm, Power outage Austin Energy Media Availability – Feb. 14, 2021

Hopefully, you’re on mute should be starting here in about a couple of minutes. We’Re gon na try to hit at 101. Music standby. Oh everybody stand by Music. All right, let’s get started good afternoon i’m kalili bien with awesome energy, and i will be the moderator for today’s media availability. I will also ask the media questions on behalf of the news outlets that are asking them to start deputy general manager and ceo sydney. Jackson will give opening remarks sydney over to you. Thank you again. My name is sydney jackson, chief operating officer for austin energy i’m. Here, to give you a brief update of the outage situation facing the city of austin and our constituents. Fortunately, boston energy has had an improving outage conditions to include substantially improved. Customer outage counts as compared to 24 hours ago. However, we will continue to face challenges today and into tomorrow, as encroaching weather is likely to cause or contribute to further customer outages. We want you to know that austin energy has pre mobilized equipment personnel and we will continue to work around the clock to restore service as required, as we cross midnight last night, i’m. Pleased to say, austin energy was able to restore a very high percentage of customers that were out equally important. We were able to restore an extremely high percentage of those customers that had experienced long duration, outages. This is a significant milestone because we have to prepare for another wave of bad weather.

That is approaching. The improvement that we saw across midnight is the result of round around the clock, efforts and effectiveness of austin energy, responders field, crews, support personnel all working in difficult overnight conditions to include cold temperatures and precipitation events. The outages that we are currently seeing are all or largely new incoming outages, essentially outages that have reoccurred since midnight as of 9 a.m. Today we had nominally 450 customers out of service with the majority of those associate associated with a singular event as of noon. Today we have 131 customers out of service and we are actively and vigorously working to restore those customers as as well let’s take a look at situa situational awareness today and over the next 24 hours. As we well know, the national weather service has issued a winter storm warning and detailed forecasts which confirm a worsening weather situation. Austin energy has prepared for these worsening environmental conditions, so what steps is austin energy taking? Currently austin energy is working with neighboring utilities. That might be able to assist in providing key resources, and those conversations with these neighboring utilities are continuing. Austin energy has also dispatched crews in advance to known vulnerable areas. This is a proactive approach, as we are patrolling these known vulnerabilities and we will be in place to react much more quickly. Austin energy is also sequestering personnel to assure their availability to support the outage or outage conditions as they might occur. This sequestering includes utilization of nearby hotels, sleeping in austin energy facilities, as might be required, and all in the effort to remove the vulnerabilities associated with travel in these icy conditions.

As i mentioned yesterday, austin energy continues to bring in additional crews well above our normal baseline. In advance of worsening environmental conditions, austin energy is also working with ercot, the texas electric grid operator, in close coordination to assure we comply with rid oversight directives. These directives would include encouraging voluntary energy conservation. At this point, such as reducing thermostats, we are asking also that our customers avoid using large appliances at this time. We’Re asking that you consider turning off non essential lightings and in regards to some of the larger customers. Please consider shutting down or reducing non essential production processes looking ahead past the next 24 hours towards an eventual eventual break in the weather pattern. Based on current projections, there will continue to be challenges to the electric system due to the forecast and that forecast shows worsening conditions continuing through thursday, so uh just doing the math we’re at nominally the 50 mark with several days of continued challenges. So the key takeaways austin energy is working around the clock to address allergies as they might occur and we are working to conserve. We are requesting that our customers conserve energy, where we can. We are dynamically mobilizing resources to include equipment and personnel, and we are asking for continued patients. Patients, as outer conditions, may develop in reaction to the environmental conditions, and with that kali i can take questions perfect. Thank you. Our first question is from fox. What are the plans for preparations for sunday night through tuesday, and if snow and icy roads are a problem? Will that hinder crews being able to get out to fix the outages? Absolutely bad weather conditions? Inability to transit to outage locations is a problem.

One of the ways we have addressed that is pre staging personnel, as i previously mentioned, that has helped, but the ability to transit transit to key areas is going to be key to our key to our response. All right. Moving on the next one is from the austin american statesman, how has austin energy prepared for this event and what is the level of staff that are currently out and about fixing outages again, as i spoke, we have prepared, in a variety of ways to include sequestering Making sure that our staff is is available, whether they’re at power plants operating power plants or whether they’re manning our operations center or whether they’re actual field crews that will be working in the field. That is an important consideration from a logistics standpoint, and as i mentioned, we are dispatching crews in advance to known vulnerable areas we do have intel as to where uh the weather encroachment is likely to be the harshest where the snow accumulation is likely to be the Worst, so we have that advanced intelligence that we use to to pre dispatch a cruise as might be needed. Next question is from k view what is the worst and worst case scenario in terms of electricity and how have you all prepared to handle this worst case scenario? There’S a lot of planning and preparation that goes into the the electric grid and the distribution system in austin, austin, energy’s operation, um there’s, a lot of contingencies that are considered um.

We work closely with ercot ercot handles a lot of the worst case scenario planning. We do take directives from them. We have an operations center that operates 24 hours, overlooking the system. We do have intelligence of what are how our system is operating and where our vulnerabilities are. We have ability to switch circuits, we have the ability to coordinate, as i mentioned, with ercot. These are all key considerations, but please be assured there’s many eyes on the ball. Many reliability, coordinators, reliability, personnel, engineers, technicians that are looking at the situation and making evaluations and looking at system stability at any given minute. Next question is from spectrum austin news: are you particip, anticipating any rotating outages and in what areas rotating outages are? Are a a directive that we would have to follow from urcot in terms of anticipation, we will have to execute those directives if they so occur, but in terms of whether they are likely. I would ask you to reach out to ercot. They might have more guidance that they can give you there, but please be assured we are ready to execute. We are ready ready to do our role uh in response to ercot’s directives. Uh next question is from fox. What is your main message to those who are experiencing or may experience experience outages in the upcoming days, and the main message is that we are aware we have systems, we know when you’re out we are working diligently.

The weather pattern does have impact on us, but our main message is that we are working around the clock to address outages um and we hope that the improved outage conditions that we have seen as we cross midnight, as is further confirmation of that to to those Customers as well next question is from the statesman. What are some of the most important things people can do to prepare for an extended power outage Music that’s, a very good question, extended powder outage outages are obviously challenging. There’S been a lot of communication in the media about preparation, whether that’s to include candles flashlight ability to charge your phone ability to reach out to loved ones, to make sure that they know your status and or potential vulnerabilities that you have. I i would ask you to reach out to those media sources that have talked about that at length. Next question is from kvue. Are you all thinking about giving hotel vouchers or helping shelter people who lose power during the rougher part of the storm? Clearly, i would ask you to follow up on that. Just as a note, there are warming centers that are operated. I think he’s um put that information out there at uh palmer event center, but we will have. We also have the information on our website, and he some and the city of austin government website has that information as well. Next question is from spectrum austin news: what do you recommend for people who think they may be without power in the coming days, which you kind of answered before? But if there’s anything else, you’d like to add Music, nothing else, given the severity of the weather patterns approaching us, given the relative state of emer emergency that the governor has issued, it is incumbent for all of us to be prepared.

Preparation is, is the key essential. So that is looking at what fundamentals that you need for your household is important and we would ask people to take this weather situation seriously. All right. The next two questions will be from univision um i’ll. Ask the question the first question: if you can answer it, sydney in english and then our spanish translator, luis rivas, will answer it in spanish for univision audience. The first question is: how is austin energy preparing to assist residents with power outages? Well, our key objective is to restore the customer as soon as possible. That is our major assistance if we can get the power back on as soon as possible, that is a a tremendous help and that’s where our focus is also. One of our key focus is to communicate status, so we’re working adamantly and as effectively as we can to communicate the status of our systems. Where we are. I would ask you to continue to look at our outage map. That is the the best source of information, and that should be helpful, luis if you’d like to give the spanish version original focus Music. Thank you. The second question is: what is the best way to report outages? Should people text call check the map? Well, the best way to report outages is is, if you have internet access to go to click on our outage webpage and report, the outages through there. That is the best way that frees up our customer service lines.

For other uh inquiries as needed, if you do not have access to the internet, calling the austin energy line would be an alternative as well reporter 0.. Can i also add that we do have a suite of tools available to us. We at austin energy have the ability to, in almost every case, be able to know that you have an outage before you perhaps might even notice, especially as we get into the wee hours of the morning when you may be asleep. So that is an ability in the technology that we have and it has been invaluable uh in our restoration efforts. Thank you, luis. Those are all the questions for today. Sydney. Would you like to give any less remarks? Yes again just reassurance that austin energy and our personnel are working around the clock to address outages as they might might occur. We’D ask you to stay safe. Take this storm seriously. These weather conditions are indeed serious and please be assured that we are dynamically mobilizing equipment and then the last message would be please conserve energy, as i previously described where you can turning down your thermostat uh, perhaps closing blinds to help insulate your home on some other Things that you might do those are some important considerations as we move forward. Please stay safe, perfect that’s, it everybody. Thank you for joining us today. Hope everyone stays safe out there and everyone stays warm.

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