ERCOT urging people to reduce electricity use 9/5 & 9/6

ERCOT is urging both people to reduce electricity use on September 5 and September 6 due to high heat and record breaking demand. It urges reduction especially during the hours of 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Some areas of Texas are expected to see the highest temperatures so far this summer and temperatures are expected to exceed 100 degrees in all major Texas metropolitan areas through September 7.

"We're seeing record level peak demand for the month of September, so we've set a new September peak demand record on Tuesday," said Leslie Sopko, spokersperson for ERCOT.

So ERCOT says there are many ways you can lower your energy use.

"You can raise your thermostat just a few degrees and turn on a fan just to offset that difference in temperature, avoid the use of large appliances during those peak hours and of course turn off any lights you are not using," said Sopko.

Austin is one of the major cities that ERCOT oversees...and every little bit of conservation helps.

"We're a city of over 1 million consumers here, we only account for about 4 percent of ERCOT's load, but when we are able to reduce our reliance on the transmission grid, it saves us money on the transmission costs we have to pay and every customer benefits," said Debbie Kimberly, VP of Customer Energy Solutions at Austin Energy.

If customers do not conserve enough, another emergency energy alert could be issued. Before this past august, the last time that happened, was 2014.

"When we declare an energy emergency alert we then have the ability to take advantage of additional resources to help us to maintain system reliability and bring our operating reserves back up to a certain level," said Sopko.

If all Texans do their part to conserve energy, they should be able to maintain grid reliability just fine.

These are some tips ERCOT offers to reduce electricity use:

  • Turn thermostat up 2 to 3 degrees during the peak hours of 2 to 7 p.m.
  • Set programmable thermostats to higher temperatures when no one is home.
  • Use fans to feel 4 to 6 degrees cooler.
  • Limit use of large appliances (i.e., dishwasher, washer, dryer, etc.) to morning or after 7 p.m.
  • If you cook indoors from 2 to 7 p.m., use a microwave or slow cooker.
  • Close blinds and drapes during late afternoon.
  • Schedule pool pumps to run in the early morning or overnight hours; shut off between 2 and 7 p.m.

You can also get conservation tips here.