STATEMENT: Deep freeze provides reminder that Texas needs to transform its energy distribution

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AUSTIN, TexasAs subfreezing temperatures blanketed the Lone Star State for a second consecutive day, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) expected energy usage to peak Friday morning. Many Texans have expressed concern about this storm, given the widespread, dangerous power outages during the February 2021 deep freeze that led to the death of more than 200 Texans. 

In the face of the cold weather and chilling wind, heating demand is surging because many Texans live in uninsulated homes with outdated and inefficient heating systems. Roughly two thirds of Texas homes were built before building codes were adopted in 2001 and so have little insulation. 

In response, Environment Texas Executive Director Luke Metzger released the following statement:

“Texas’s leaders need to commit to solutions that will help our electric system stand up to, and stop perpetuating, extreme weather fueled by climate change. Energy efficiency should be the first fuel we turn to.

Newly passed incentives and rebates in the Inflation Reduction Act make it easier than ever for Texans to weatherize their homes and replace inefficient and outdated heating systems with modern technologies. Speedy and far-reaching implementation of these changes will cut costs, keep homes more comfortable and reduce demand on the grid.

“Now is the time for Texas’s leaders to prioritize tried and true solutions – energy efficiency, conservation and demand response. Those actions will keep our fragile grid from breaking under pressure. And to prevent further pollution that fuels extreme weather and make our grid more resilient, our leaders need to make it easier to put solar panels on our roofs, battery storage in our garages and geothermal heating systems in our communities. 

Building a 21st century electric system is not rocket science and we don’t need futuristic technology. Texas has the knowledge and resources to build an electric system that can meet our energy needs without contributing to the pollution that fuels extreme weather like this latest bomb cyclone. We just need the will from our elected officials to build it.”