Some SA businesses find their own solutions as winter nears, worries arise of energy grid

Angela Cordoba at Freshest Ice Creams said she’s trying to keep her thermostat off

SAN ANTONIO – Angela Cordoba said even in cold weather, she still scoops ice cream.

“Yes, absolutely,” Cordoba said. “The customers come for ice cream. It doesn’t matter.”

For Cordoba, the owner of Freshest Ice Creams, getting through this past summer was a struggle. Cordoba couldn’t keep temperatures cool enough in her store to keep the ice cream from starting to melt, and she was not alone.

Cordoba said now, weeks into the fall season, she’s finally seeing relief with colder temperatures. But as the winter nears, she’s worried about the potential for instability in the Texas energy grid.

“My machines, these are my babies,” Cordoba said. “If something happens, it would be, ‘Oh my God.’”

Just this week, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation said that 180 million people across the United States could lose power this winter. Jim Matheson, the CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, said Texas is a state that could see issues.

“The risk is getting worse and worse,” Matheson said. “We’re using more electricity than we were two years ago, and yet the supply really hasn’t kept up with that in terms of the always available generation.”

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association lobbies on behalf of 900 electric co-ops across the country, and 70 in Texas.

A spokesperson with the association reported that these co-ops in Texas provide power to more than three million people.

Matheson said he sees new data as a warning sign.

“We got to get in front of this and change that trend,” Matheson said. “Under the extreme cold situation where demand for electricity goes way up, there could be a real problem.”

Matheson said this shows the need for policy related to energy-resource expansions.

“There’s concern there isn’t going to be enough electric generating supply to meet the demand,” Matheson said. “There’s no question the state of Texas understands this is an issue and that’s why Prop 7 exists.”

Voters in Texas passed Proposition 7 just this week. This would create the Texas Energy Fund to help companies build or upgrade electricity-generating plants.

But until votes are finalized, Cordoba said she’s come up with her own solutions to keep up with energy demand. She’s resorted to turning off her thermostat and using a winter-friendly menu.

“I have my special menu,” Cordoba said. “For the planet, for the environment. For us. For money.”

Proposition 7 was just one of 13 constitutional amendments in Texas to pass in the election. To read up on the rest, click here.

About the Authors:

Avery Everett is a news reporter and multimedia journalist at KSAT 12 News. Avery is a Philadelphia native. If she’s not at the station, she’s either on a hiking or biking trail. A lover of charcuterie boards and chocolate chip cookies, Avery’s also looking forward to eating her way through San Antonio, one taco shop at a time!