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ERCOT Asks Consumers to Conserve Electricity

Temperatures will be well into the 100s all week resulting in high numbers of electricity usage.
Photo by Daniel Reese for KUT News
Temperatures will be well into the 100s all week resulting in high numbers of electricity usage.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, (ERCOT), has asked consumers to conserve their electricity use from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. today and for the remainder of the week.

Kent Saathoff, vice president of system planning and operations for ERCOT, explained the need in a press release.

“At this time, we expect to be tight over the peak hours today between 4-5 p.m., which means that significant generation outages could make us short of operating reserves."

The current peak demand record is 65,776 MW, which was set Aug. 23, 2010.  It takes one megawatt to power about 200 homes in Texas. With record high temperatures, air conditioners are running for longer periods of time compared to normal conditions causing peaks in electricity usage.

Some tips for conserving electricity from ERCOT:


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, coffee makers, 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 evening instead of the afternoon.

Kelsey Johnson is a summer intern with KUT news. She is a recent graduate from the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communications with an emphasis in electronic media.
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