About 2:30 this morning, lights in the house began flickering and fans nearly stopped. After that, it never came that close again to a power outage, but the fans intermittently turned much more slowly and the lights dimmed. Fans set on “high” were turning more slowly than they do when set on “low.” The local daily reports this morning that yesterday was a record day for electricity demand. One definition of “brownout” is “the reduction of voltage (and thus of power) when demand for electricity exceeds generating capacity.” Houston is reported to have experienced rolling blackouts.

3 Comments so far

  1. Sara Brumfield (unregistered) on September 29th, 2005 @ 10:02 am

    Maybe it’s time for us all to get one of free programmable thermostats Austin Energy recently sent me a note on. This webpage has more details:

    As a Power Partner, we provide you with a Free Honeywell Superstat

  2. Stephen Jacobs (unregistered) on September 29th, 2005 @ 2:07 pm

    Isn’t rolling blackouts when the power company decides to take sections of the grid down for a period to relieve the strain?

    I missed the big power loss that hit the New England region and Ontario because I was in Quebec at the time.
    But we do receive brownouts at my factory about once a month it seems…

  3. Rantor (unregistered) on September 30th, 2005 @ 9:59 am

    As to the gizmos on offer (thermostats that can be programmed), they’re of use only to those who have air-conditioning. Those of us without a.c. and who seldom use over 375 kwh of electricity, even in the hottest months, have no use for them.

    The day after the posting about middle-of-the-night electrical events, the local daily reported that there had been a major transformer fire at about 2:15 am at the Howard Lane substation, which left about 10,000 Austin residents without power entirely, some for two hours, and caused a need to do some rebalancing of service. It’s reported that it may take from 10 to 12 months to replace the transformer, at a cost of about $600,000.

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