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AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM) – The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), grid operator for most of Texas,  is asking electric consumers to limit or reduce electric use where possible during the 3-7 p.m. peak demand hours Thursday.

“Although we set new peak demand records without needing to issue a conservation alert during the past week, the high temperatures statewide continue to drive high levels of electricity use,” said Dan Woodfin, ERCOT director of System Operations.

“Generation units on the system have been working hard to keep up with recent demands,” Woodfin said. “Some of them have experienced outages today, contributing to tighter conditions.”

The ERCOT system has hit several new demand records in recent weeks, most recently reaching 69,783 MW on Monday, August 10.

Consumers can help ensure the system is able to continue serving today’s power needs by taking the following steps to help support system reliability during peak demand:
Turn thermostat up 2-3 degrees during the peak hours of 3 to 7 p.m.
Set programmable thermostats to higher temperatures when no one is home.
If home, use fans to feel 4-6 degrees cooler.
Schedule pool pumps to run in the early morning or overnight hours; shut off between 4 to 6 p.m.
Limit use of large appliances (dishwasher, washer, dryer, etc.) to morning or after 7 p.m.
If you cook indoors from 3 to 7 p.m., use a microwave or slow cooker.
Close blinds and drapes during late afternoon.

“We are working to maintain overall reliability during this high-demand period,” said Woodfin. “Voluntary conservation can help us reduce the potential for additional measures, such as rotating outages, to ensure reliability throughout the ERCOT grid.”

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