ERCOT Asking for Voluntary Power Conservation
After setting another August peak usage record on Monday, ERCOT (Electric Reliability Council of Texas), on Tuesday afternoon announced it is at Energy Emergency Alert Level 1 status, asking for voluntary conservation of electricity.
ERCOT is predicting Tuesday's peak load to be just over 75,100 Megawatts (MW), between 5pm-6pm. One easy way to save power, now through 7pm, turn up your thermostat by 2 or 3 degrees.
Other ways to help save power: Set programmable thermostats to higher temperatures when no one is home. Use fans to feel 4 to 6 degrees cooler. Limit use of large appliances (i.e., dishwasher, washer, dryer, etc.) to morning or after 7 p.m. If you cook indoors from 3 to 7 p.m., use a microwave or slow cooker. Close blinds and drapes during late afternoon, and schedule pool pumps to run in the early morning or overnight hours; shut off between 4 and 6 p.m
The ERCOT electrical grid covers 90 percent of the state, including the Metroplex, Texoma, Big Country, Permian Basin and parts of the southern South Plains including Dawson and Borden counties. Lubbock Power & Light's service area is slated to join ERCOT next decade.
The PUC of Texas also issued the following press release:
Austin, TX – The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) urges Texans to conserve electricity this afternoon as record electricity demand meets higher than normal temperatures.
“When the energy demands of our state’s steadily growing population and booming economy intersect with hot summer temperatures, the supply of power can get a little tight, so we’re calling on Texans to help moderate demand for electricity with a few simple choices during the late afternoon hours this week," said DeAnn Walker, Chairman of the Public Utility Commission of Texas.
The PUC advises residential and business customers alike to reduce their electricity usage with simple adjustments like bumping air conditioning thermostats up at least two degrees and turning off unnecessary lighting. Customers are also asked to wait until after sunset to run dishwashing and laundry appliances.
As temperatures peak in the late afternoon, air conditioning use typically follows suit, causing demand to surge between 3p.m. and 7 p.m. With National Weather Service heat advisories predicting temperatures above 100 degrees for most areas of the state, Texans are advised to purposefully reduce consumption.
For customers in the state’s competitive areas interested in keeping tabs on the ERCOT grid, an app is available on the Apple Store or Google Play). They can also check the color-coded “Electric Grid Status” section on the right hand side of the PUC’s homepage.
The PUC also maintains a friendly source of low-cost conservation tips and other energy efficiency-related home improvements at www.PowerToSaveTexas.org. Customers interested in comparing plans to other marketplace options can visit www.powertochoose.org. Changing providers will not affect electric service reliability, the frequency or duration of outages, or the time it will take to have your electric service restored if an outage occurs.
About the Public Utility Commission
Our mission is to serve Texans by regulating the state’s electric, telecommunication, and water and sewer utilities, implementing respective legislation, and offering customer assistance in resolving consumer complaints. Since its founding in 1975, the Commission has a long and proud history of service to Texas, protecting customers, fostering competition, and promoting high quality infrastructure. To learn more, please visit http://www.puc.texas.gov.