EL PASO, TX (KTSM) – El Paso Electric (EPE) officials say their preps for the summer months started back in the fall.

As one would imagine, during the summer we tend to see an increase in energy use across the city, which means a higher chance for power outages.

EPE begins planning and purchasing for the warmer weather, way back in the winter months; coordinating and planning for those days when the grid is under stress due to usage and high temps.

EPE’s Omar Gallegos says weather is the largest cause of outages, but the increase in use of refrigerated air also uses a great amount of energy, contributing to the outages.

Gallegos says there are ways to conserve energy during this time.

“They can do many different things from energy efficiency programs that El Paso electric offers and also just through this summer minimizing the use of electrical appliances during the peak hours,” said Gallegos.

Officials with EPE say the utility has already replaced some of their transformers and they will go into these summer months with extra inventory in cases something happens. This way of something does happen they can shorten the duration of the outage.

In addition to worrying about Mother Nature, EPE crews have to keep an eye on the sky for another threat: mylar balloons.

Gallegos shares that as we are in graduation season, they will see more balloons getting stuck in power lines, leading to outages.

Last year alone, about seventy of those balloons caused a power outage in El Paso. They ask that celebrants keep a tight rein on the colorful party favors, and dispose of them correctly.

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