DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Texans were asked to conserve energy this whole week during peak hours of consumption and to turn up thermostats to at least 78 degrees. It’s a request from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas that received strong reactions from residents just a few months after the devastating winter storms that knocked out power for millions.
“Coming off the February storm disaster and this session… it frightens people. It’s not even that hot out and we’re being asked to curtail,” Democratic state Sen. Nathan Johnson from Dallas said.
Johnson said the state’s grid remained several stages from any real trouble and believed the request wouldn’t have been such a concern if not for what happened in February.
Like millions of Texans, Ahmad Kahdra lost power in his home in February and when he saw the conservation alert this week, he said he tried to comply — but couldn’t.
“I cannot fall asleep if it’s that hot and that warm in the house, so I just couldn’t do it,” Kahdra said.
Many people on social media had similar stories when asked if they conserved energy this week.
“No freaking way” and “Absolutely not” were just a couple of those answers. One person said he did go up to 78 degrees but noticed businesses stayed lit up “like a Christmas tree.”
Are you a Texan who adjusted your thermostat to 78* or higher this week? Or has a smart thermostat that turned itself up?
Are you a Texan who made a conscious decision NOT to turn their thermostat up?
I want to talk to you ASAP for a story. Email me ALucia@cbs.com @CBSDFW
— Andrea Lucia (@CBS11Andrea) June 18, 2021
CBS 11 News reached out to ERCOT to ask what the temperatures were at the agency’s offices. In just over 24 hours, a spokesperson replied: “All thermostats at ERCOT facilities have been adjusted to 78 degrees.” A request for evidence was still being checked on by ERCOT.
A staff member at the Texas Capitol said while it seemed warmer than usual in the building, the temperature in their office registered at 71.7 degrees.
When asked if state leaders have a responsibility during times like these, Kahdra said, “100%… it’s 100% their responsibility.”