EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — About 6,000 El Paso Electric customers were without power in El Paso and Southern New Mexico Sunday evening, Aug 6. into early Monday morning, Aug. 7.
On Sunday, El Paso broke a record for the hottest day of 2023, reaching 112 degrees.
The hottest day in the history of El Paso was 114 back in 1994.
West El Paso resident Orlando Lujan says he’s thankful he installed misters on his patio after losing power overnight.
“We have misters back there, and luckily I put them on this year because of the heat to stay outside and stay cool,” said Lujan.
Lujan says his power was restored after 3 a.m. on Monday.
“It’s only been one time that this has happened this year with this outage, so I don’t think we’re going to have anymore. Hopefully we don’t, but 6,000 people that’s quite a bit,” Lujan said.
Another El Pasoan says his sister lost power overnight and couldn’t sleep.
“My family was without power last night and they were kind of worried about it because they have those two little dogs in there. They were worried about it and they couldn’t sleep at all. They were a little bit upset,” Rodriguez said.
El Paso Electric says the outages were spread out around the city and into Southern New Mexico and were caused by the high temperatures and higher energy needs.
“When our equipment Is exposed to these high-temperature days, especially at nighttime, if the temperatures do not drop below 80 degrees, each progressive day, the equipment gets hotter and hotter,” said Omar Gallegos, the vice president of transmission and distribution for El Paso Electric.
Gallegos said the increased energy demand from customers that have converted to refrigerated air elevates the temperatures of the transformers in the field and could also cause some of the failures.
However, he says El Paso Electric has extra transformers ready to go.
“We prepare for the summer by ensuring that we have enough transformer inventory to deal with situations of this type. And so luckily, we’ve had sufficient inventory to to replace transformers that need to be replaced,” Gallegos said.
El Paso Electric recommends reducing energy consumption during peak hours which is from about 3 p.m. until 9.m. at night.
Some El Pasoans were still without power on Monday but El Paso Electric says crews are working to restore power but due to the outages being spread out across the Borderland, it’s taking more time.