sunshine 51601521 Texans Being Asked To Reduce Electricity Use Today

The hot noonday sun shines through power lines. (credit: Gerard Burkhart/AFP/Getty Images)

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – It’s so hot in North Texas that the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is asking folks to cut back on power usage this afternoon.

North Texas remains under a Heat Advisory and now ERCOT has some concerns about power supplies and possibly reaching critical peak power usage.

It’s not just the hot temperatures that are stressing the power demand. “We’ve got hot weather this week and it is causing some high electricity demand and we do have some unexpected unit outages,” explained ERCOT spokesperson Dottie Roark.

Air conditioning use is the biggest drain on energy use. Terry Hadley with the Public Utilities Commission of Texas says, “We found that you can be comfortable while setting your air conditioning thermostat to 78-degrees, maybe even a little higher.”

Besides turning up the temperature on the air condition, Roark says there are other ways to conserve energy. She suggests that consumers, “Delay laundry and other activities that require electricity consuming appliances. Turn off all unnecessary lights, appliances and electronic equipment.”

The continued hot weather is also very dangerous for some. “This is a good time for folks to check on friends and family who either may not have air conditioning or may be in a condition that they may be more susceptible to hot weather,” said Hadley.

During the Yellow Conservation Alert consumers and businesses are being asked to reduce their electricity use during peak electricity hours from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

North Texas is facing a 13th straight day of 100-degree or higher temperatures.

Other conservation tips from the Public Utility Commission’s “Powerful Advice” include:

• Turn off all unnecessary lights, appliances, and electronic equipment.
• When at home, close blinds and drapes that get direct sun, set air conditioning thermostats to 78 degrees or higher, and use fans to cool the air.
• When away from home, set air conditioning thermostats to 85 degrees and turn all fans off before you leave. Block the sun by closing blinds or drapes on windows that will get direct sun.
• Do not use your dishwasher, laundry equipment, hair dryers, coffee makers, or other home appliances during the peak hours of 3 to 7 p.m.
• Avoid opening refrigerators or freezers more than necessary.
• Use microwaves for cooking instead of an electric range or oven.
• Set your pool pump to run in the early morning or evening instead of the afternoon.

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