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Energy & Environment

ERCOT Again Asks Texans To Conserve Energy

Rooftop air conditioning units
Gabriel C. Pérez
/
KUT
Texas' electric grid operator is asking businesses and residents to turn air conditioners up a few degrees as it faces record energy demand.

Update at 5:11 p.m.: ERCOT says operations have returned to normal, but it is still encouraging conservation. 

Our original post follows: 

For the second time in a week, Texas' electric grid-operator has asked folks to conserve energy as it faces record demand during the current heatwave.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas asked Texans to raise thermostats a couple degrees, turn off nonessential lights and limit the use of large appliances like dishwashers until 7 p.m. Thursday as demand for electricity could outpace supply.

If demand outpaces supply, known as peak demand, the grid-operator could ask industrial users to voluntarily shutdown in exchange for discounted electricity rates. ERCOT could also initiate what's known as rolling blackouts, where it shuts off power in different areas of the state for short periods. The last time that happened was in winter 2011.

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