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ERCOT asks Texans to conserve electricity again Tuesday morning amid freezing temperatures

A person sits at a desk with multiple screens behind a board with lots of graphics on it
Julia Reihs
KUT News
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, operates Texas's electrical grid.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas is asking people to conserve electricity Tuesday morning, the second such request issued by the grid operator this week as freezing weather continues to grip the state.

In a media release Monday, ERCOT asked people to conserve between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. Tuesday. The grid operator said it is expecting electricity supply to be tight with “the winter storm encompassing the entire state and temperatures forecasted to be colder this evening and into tomorrow morning."

ERCOT has tips for conserving power on its web page, including lowering the thermostat by a degree or two; not using large appliances like washers and driers; and turning off lights when not in use.

Texans were first asked to conserve Monday morning from 6 to 10.

“Due to continued freezing temperatures, very high demand and unseasonably low wind, operating reserves for the Texas power grid are expected to be low Monday morning, Jan. 15, prior to the solar ramp up,” ERCOT wrote Sunday. ERCOT said it expects a similar situation on Tuesday.

At points ahead of Monday's request, the grid operator had forecasted supply to potentially outstrip expected demand. Ultimately, energy demand came in much lower than forecast, it is unclear how much of that, if any, was the result of conservation.

The conservation requests have angered some Texans, many of whom as still frustrated with the performance of the state grid after the winter blackout of 2021.

Early last week, officials had said they expected “normal operations” through the mid-January freeze as ample electric reserves were expected.

Mose Buchele focuses on energy and environmental reporting at KUT. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @mosebuchele.
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