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Hot Texas weekend tests grid again

The control room at the Electric Reliability Council of Texas in Taylor, TX on May 15, 2018. A man is looking up at a map of Texas on a large screen and various other displays of information.
Julia Reihs
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas is watching grid conditions and again asking people to cut back on electricity use.

As the relentless Texas summer bakes the state, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is again asking Texans to conserve electricity today between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m.

The grid operator expects scorching temperatures will lead to a surge in power demand as people blast air conditioners to cope with the stifling heat. With less wind and solar power expected to be generated today, ERCOT warns that the grid may struggle to keep up with the high demand.

ERCOT's real-time dashboard forecasts this afternoon's electricity consumption will nearly reach the state's maximum power generation capacity.

This marks the sixth call for voluntary conservation this month alone, as ERCOT navigates the precarious balance between supply and demand.

Austin Energy recommends these measures to conserve energy:

  • Increase your thermostat setting by a few degrees
  • Use fans to circulate air and stay cool
  • Don't use large appliances during peak hours
  • Turn off unnecessary lights
  • Schedule pool pumps to operate either early in the morning or late at night

The National Weather Service has once again issued an excessive heat warningfor parts of the Austin area, saying dangerously hot temperatures of 105 to 108 degrees increase the risk of heat-related illnesses.

Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. He covers the big projects that are reshaping how we get around Austin, like the I-35 overhaul, the airport's rapid growth and the multibillion-dollar transit expansion Project Connect. He also focuses on the daily changes that affect how we walk, bike and drive around the city. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on X @KUTnathan.
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