San Antonio opens cooling centers after ERCOT calls for power conservation measures

Transportation available by calling 311, officials say

San Antonio public libraries act as cooling centers for seniors

SAN ANTONIO – The City of San Antonio has opened cooling centers across town for residents needing shelter from the heat.

The announcement came after the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) urged the state to conserve power this week in order to avoid the need for rotating outages.

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The city said residents who need transportation to the cooling centers can call 311 for assistance. Service animals are allowed in the cooling center, but residents will have to ensure all other pets have access to shade and cold water elsewhere, officials said.

VIA metropolitan transit is offering free rides to the cooling centers beginning June 15. VIA says passengers need to inform the bus drivers that they are traveling to a cooling center.

VIAtrans customers can make same day reservations for the cooling center destinations, VIA said.

Riders are still required to wear a mask when on the bus.

CPS Energy is also encouraging customers to conserve their energy at home by following this guide:

  • Set thermostats 2 to 3 degrees higher from 2 – 7 p.m.; set programmable thermostats to higher temperatures when no one is home. The optimum energy-saving temperature is 78 degrees.
  • Avoid using large appliances (i.e. ovens, washing machines, etc.), especially during peak demand hours.
  • Use fans to feel 4 to 6 degrees cooler. Remember: fans cool people by moving air across the skin. They don’t cool rooms and should be turned off in empty rooms.
  • Set pool pumps to run early morning or overnight; shutoff from 4 – 6 p.m.
  • Turn off and unplug non-essential lights and appliances.
  • Close shades and blinds on windows exposed to direct sunlight.
  • Charge electric vehicles after 9 p.m.

You can find locations and hours of operation for the cooling centers below or by clicking here.

About the Author

Emily Martin is the KSAT Insider Membership Producer. She earned a journalism degree from Texas State University, where she was news director at KTSW, the campus radio station. She has also interned at KXAN and KUT in Austin.

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