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Tuesday, September 27, 2022
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ERCOT Asks Texans to Voluntarily Conserve Electricity


High voltage electrical towers | Image by Shutterstock

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Due to the pending intense heat on Monday afternoon into the evening, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which manages the state’s electric grid, requests that people and businesses voluntarily conserve power.

On Sunday evening, ERCOT called for energy efficiency on July 11, from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., according to a news release. During that time, ERCOT also issued a caution for a “projected reserve capacity shortage” and stated that it did not foresee any system-wide outages.

ERCOT asks for customers to take this important action for the following reasons:

Record high electric demand. The heat wave that has settled on Texas and much of the central United States is driving increased electric use. Other grid operators are operating under similar conservative operations programs due to the heatwave.

Low wind. While solar power is generally reaching near-full generation capacity, wind power is currently generating significantly less energy than historical levels for this period. Current projections show wind generation coming in at less than 10 percent of its capacity.

For helpful conservation advice, ERCOT urges all electricity customers to visit the Public Utility Commission’s (PUC) Power to Save or the websites of their electric providers. The PUC recommends upping your thermostat a couple of degrees if comfortable and delaying the use of large appliances or pool pumps during afternoon peak times.

Ways that a customer can track electricity demand are:

  • Visit http://www.ercot.com to view the daily peak demand forecast, the current load, and the available generation.
  • Follow ERCOT on Facebook (Electric Reliability Council of Texas) and Twitter (@ERCOT_ISO).
  • Sign up for the ERCOT mobile app (available for download at the Apple App Store and Google Play).
  • Subscribe to the EmergencyAlerts list on http://lists.ercot.com.

Conservation is a reliable method that ERCOT has utilized more than four dozen times since 2008 to control grid operations successfully. This alert is sent out when expected reserves may drop below 2300 MW for 30 minutes or more.     

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