ERCOT Warns North Texans To Conserve Energy

AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – The forecast is not the only thing that is breaking records in the North Texas heat wave. Electricity use has seen a big jump as the temperatures continue climbing into the triple-digits. The record for power consumption was broken at about 5:00 p.m. on Monday evening, as Texans used more than 66,800 megawatts of power.

The state’s capacity for generating power is 67,000 megawatts.

Since the temperatures are showing no signs of going down this week, the agency that regulates power in Texas is warning the state to conserve energy or face the consequences. The Energy Reliability Council of Texas, which manages the electrical grid, issued a statement on Monday asking users to cut back on their electricity usage in the afternoons.

In the statement, ERCOT vice president Kent Saathoff recognized that the margin between generating capacity and demand will be tight in the coming days. However, he warned, generation outages could lead to ERCOT taking emergency procedures, such as cutting off power to industrial users.

If Texans do not conserve energy, ERCOT might begin the process of rolling blackouts, which could last anywhere between 15 and 45 minutes per neighborhood.

Texans are being urged to reduce their energy usage all of the time, but especially between the hours of 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. for the rest of the week, as this is when demand is expected to be at a maximum.

There are some things that you can do to make energy conservation easier. Turn off unnecessary lights, appliances and electronic equipment. Close the blinds and curtains at home, especially on the windows receiving direct sunlight. Set the thermostat to 78 degrees when you are in the home and 85 degrees when you leave. Use fans to cool the air, but remember to turn them off when you are not at home. Avoid running high-energy appliances like hair dryers, washing machines and dishwashers.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


One Comment

  1. mike says:

    When six flags,hurricane harbor and shopping malls close to conserve ..then I will conserve. Until then i use what electric I want because Im paying for it !

    1. Unreasonable Moron #2 says:

      THANK YOU! Who needs to be lumbering through a mall, anyway? Bunch of losers with nothing better to do. The malls are giant ice boxes right now. Shut them down!

  2. DAnny says:

    Lets see take a power strip and fill it up then string another power strip to it and fill that up and another and another and on and on and what do you get? Now lets get solar cheaper and hydrogen cell units for the home or even neighborhoods and stop all this nonsense. We then have power when we need it and ease the over selling of the grid. It would be much cheaper in the long run and save us all a lot of money. The hydrogen boxes could run off natural gas or solar. WE use gas anyway why not increase its effectiveness. It is also a fact that almost if not all service companies oversell their product and create these needless events. That is my two cents anyway. Instead of giving rich utility companies money give homeowners money for solar or hydrogen.

  3. Stevo says:

    I’m with Mike.
    The very *last* places that should have power cut to them are our precious homes.

  4. Ask says:

    When is Texas going to build some more power plants? How will all the electric cars that the government wants get charged?

  5. Don says:

    Wait until everone has electric cars.

  6. JD says:

    We leave our thermostat at 76 degrees and use ceiling fans. Everything is unplugged and the power turned off in the rooms we do not use regularly. We do not leave lights on in rooms we aren’t in, and don’t even turn on lights until we absolutely have to during the evening. We want to go solar, but it’s still too expensive for us. I don’t know what else we can do to help save electricity. I know where I work, electricity is being wasted at an enormous amount. Lights are left on all over the place, fans and computers left on… I’m always going around and turning things off ! It’s so frustrating!

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