AUSTIN, TX, July 30 — The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), grid operator for most of Texas, is asking electric consumers to limit or reduce electric use where possible during the 3-7 p.m. peak demand hours today.
Electric demand this week has reached three consecutive July records, breaking 67,000 megawatts (MW) for the first time since 2011 on Wednesday, July 29, when demand stayed above 67,000 MW for three consecutive hours, peaking at 67,590 MW during the hour ending at 5 p.m.
“Although we have been able to keep up with these July records this week, we currently project somewhat higher demand during today’s peak hours,” said Dan Woodfin, ERCOT director of System Operations. “Some additional plants have experienced unplanned outages, and we are expecting less wind generation during today’s peak.”
Consumers can help ensure the system is able to continue serving current power needs by taking the following steps to reduce demand on the system during the 3-7 p.m. peak demand hours:
- Turn off all unnecessary lights, appliances and electronic equipment.
- When at home, close blinds and drapes that get direct sun, set air conditioning thermostats to 78 degrees or higher, and use fans to cool the air.
- When away from home, set air conditioning thermostats to 85 degrees and turn all fans off before you leave. Block the sun by closing blinds or drapes on windows that will get direct sun.
- Do not use your dishwasher, laundry equipment, hair dryers, coffeemakers, or other home appliances during the peak hours of 3 to 7 p.m.
- Avoid opening refrigerators or freezers more than necessary.
- Use microwaves for cooking instead of an electric range or oven.
- Set your pool pump to run in the early morning or late evening, not during peak demand hours.
“This is a precautionary measure to help ensure we can maintain overall reliability during this high-demand period,” said Woodfin. “Voluntary conservation, especially during the late afternoon and early evening hours, can help us ensure reliability throughout the ERCOT grid.”
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) manages the flow of electric power to nearly 24 million Texas customers, representing about 90 percent of the state’s electric load. As the independent system operator for the region, ERCOT schedules power on an electric grid that connects more than 43,000 miles of transmission lines and 550 generation units. ERCOT also performs financial settlement for the competitive wholesale bulk-power market and administers retail switching for more than 7 million premises in competitive choice areas. ERCOT is a membership-based 501(c)(4) nonprofit corporation, governed by a board of directors and subject to oversight by the Public Utility Commission of Texas and the Texas Legislature.
John Julitz (512) 275-7432