City of AustinFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Austin, TX – Yesterday, Feb. 16, the City of Austin and Travis County took steps to reduce commercial energy consumption and enacted orders to prevent businesses from raising prices on essential goods and services during this severe winter weather event. City of Austin orders and Travis County orders are in effect through Feb. 22, 2021.
As the extreme weather continues to impact individuals across the State, pleas were made to conserve power to help reduce energy usage to residents and commercial businesses that still had power. These measures are necessary to help restore power to our community and those homes without heat.
The City and County ordered manufacturing, industrial, or commercial business to minimize or halt non-essential processes and operations to the greatest extent possible. To further minimize energy demand, the City has coordinated with Downtown Austin Alliance requesting urgent assistance to help reduce non-essential power usage in the downtown Austin area.
“We have put out an urgent plea to businesses to reduce their power consumption as well” said City of Austin Mayor Steve Adler in Feb. 16 press conference. “Any measure that can be taken by homes with power or commercial businesses to reduce power usage is a step closer to returning power to homes in our community.”
Measures have also been taken by the City and County to combat price gouging by businesses. Under the order, businesses are prohibited from selling certain goods and services at any price higher than what they were selling on Feb. 11, except where the price raise is due to increased supplier costs or other costs.
Continued partnerships between the City, County, and community organizations have resulted in opening additional cold weather shelters. Shelters with capacity currently are:
Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78704
Del Valle High School, 5201 Ross Road, Del Valle, TX 78617
Additionally, the Austin Disaster Relief Network has activated a network of faith-based locations to operate as shelters. These locations are not equipped with full services. People accessing these locations should bring supplies and blankets. A full list of these locations, including pet-friendly shelters, can be found on ADRN’s website.
Austin Independent School District (AISD) also opened two warming centers that will provide individuals a place to warm up and charge essential medical devices that will operate from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. These warming centers will not operate as overnight shelters and will have minimal resources on site. The centers are located at:
Russell Lee Elementary School, 3308 Hampton Rd, Austin, TX 78705
Murchison Middle School, 3700 N Hills Dr, Austin, TX 78731
For individuals who are unable to shelter in place and must travel to one of the shelters listed above due to medical necessity, please contact 311 to arrange transportation. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org and provide your name, phone number, address, number of people needing transport and medical needs. Transportation resources are extremely limited, and the public is asked to reserve this resource for our most vulnerable population, especially those who require power for their medical devices.
The public is urged to stay home as much as possible during the severe weather to keep the roadways clear and safe for first responders and those seeking shelter. Please only call 911 if it is a life-threatening emergency.