Texans Being Asked To Reduce Electricity Use Today

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.


One Comment

  1. Nonya says:

    So what will be the excuse this time? How many power plants have now had “unscheduled” maintenance? I’m sure they’ve already got things worked out to buy power from Mexico and are ready for the rolling blackouts.

  2. C Bauer says:

    ERCOT – a.k.a. The League of Geniuses.

  3. telissa says:

    you say dont use your stove between 3-7 pm what a laugh people are cooking dinner at that time for there familys get real i am not going to tell my three yr old grandson i cant cook antil 7pm so you will have to wait for dinner he goes to bed between 7.30 and 8.00 pm if you want to reduce the usage the tell all these big corps and other places they must shut down between 3-7 pm that includes resturans, movie places hotels any place that use a lot of energy becaues people at home need it more than they do!!!!!!!!

  4. Don Bearden says:

    Ok everyone, run out and buy an electric car to save the planet. See what this does to the electric service in this country.

  5. Beverly says:

    I am surprised that they just didn’t start rolling blackouts without any notice.

  6. J V says:

    Well I ask Texas for lots of things and it never answers me. I will be doubling my electricity use.

  7. GC Smith says:

    “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.”

    Mr. Hadley, in case you have not checked, it’s 85-90 at night and over 100 during the day. Even if I set my thermostat to 85, it will reach that temperature very quickly and when it does, the a/c will run continuously to maintain even that temperature setting. Worse, when you get home at the end of the day, it is unbearable, and the system has to run continuously into the night to achieve a comfortable interior temperature. What is the difference between that and setting my a/c to 74 and having my a/c run non-stop? I will tell you the difference. I and my family will be comfortable.

    That said, Telissa raises a very good point above. If a/c is the biggest drain on energy use, why do we not see calls for businesses to cut back on their energy use? The a/c in my office is set at 69 on an almost constant basis. Granted, it’s very comfortable during the day, but is it necessary at night or on the weekends when the office is empty? Of course not.

    Take the typical Wal-Mart, Target or Best Buy as an example. Multiple HVAC systems, hundreds of lights, refrigerators and freezers, all running non-stop, 24 hours a day (save for the lights, perhaps). How does their energy consumption compare to the average house? The average neighborhood?

    I understand there are economic factors at play here, but ERCOT asking individual consumers to reduce consumption while apparently disregarding the massive consumption on the part of businesses is disingenuous at best.

    If you want me to hold off doing laundry or cooking dinner, or you want me to sit in my house and sweat, all in the name of electricity consumption, fine, but we “little guys” aren’t the only ones who use electricity and we damn sure shouldn’t be the only ones asked to cut back. When ERCOT sends out these maydays, they should ask businesses to shoulder the burden as well.

Comments are closed.

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