Watch CBS News

ERCOT Interim CEO In North Texas To 'Rebuild Trust' After February Storm-Related Power Outages

COPPELL, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - February's winter storms and power outages led to so many questions and concerns.

ERCOT's interim CEO was in Coppell Monday addressing what changes are being made and taking questions from the public.

Attendees said they were left in the dark figuratively and literally during the storm.

They're hoping another event like that never happens again.

Amani Elsawah's power went out, then multiple pipes burst.

"My apartment started flooding so I had to figure out what to do and I had to find a place for me and my cat," she said.

She stayed with a friend short term and then moved to a hotel.

"I've been there ever since," she said. "I had to terminate my lease because of the mold growth."

It's been a devastating experience, which is what led her to this town hall. ERCOT's Interim CEO Brad Jones hosted the event to improve communication.

"The first thing I want to accomplish as interim CEO is I want to make sure that we begin to rebuild trust," he said.

Last month, the Public Utility Commission of Texas adopted a rule that requires power companies to use their best efforts to ensure that plants can operate in the winter.

This includes weatherization, onsite fuel security, staffing plans, operational readiness, and structural preparations.

"They'll make a testation to us December 1st that they have fixed everything they need to fix and then we will come out and we will inspect over 300 generating units between December 2 and December 23rd," Jones said.

He said that accounts for about 85% of lost megawatt hours during the storm.

"If they fail to appropriately weatherize we will report them to the PUC and they may take action and fine them as much as $1 million per instance per day," he said.

Elsawah hopeful this is a step in the right direction.

"It's important," she said. "It's very very important because these are things that will affect everybody."

Jones says the town hall was the first of many he plans to host in the coming weeks.

Tuesday he will be in Carrollton making a presentation during the City Council meeting.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.