TEXAS (FOX 44) – With extreme hot weather driving record power demand across Texas, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is asking Texans and Texas businesses to voluntarily conserve electricity.

The company has issued a Conservation Appeal for Monday – between 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. ERCOT also issued a Watch for a projected reserve capacity shortage from 2:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. At this time, no system-wide outages are expected.

Conservation is a reliability tool ERCOT has deployed more than four dozen times since 2008 to successfully manage grid operations. This notification is issued when projected reserves may fall below 2300 megawatts for 30 minutes or more.

ERCOT is encouraging all electric customers to visit the Public Utility Commission’s (PUC) Power to Save or their electric provider’s websites to get important conservation tips. According to the PUC, ways to reduce electricity use during peak times include turning up your thermostat a degree or two, if comfortable, and postponing running major appliances or pool pumps during afternoon peak hours.

ERCOT continues to use all tools available to manage the grid effectively and reliably – including using reserve power and calling upon large electric customers who have volunteered to lower their energy use.

Factors driving the need for this important action by customers:

  • Record high electric demand. The heat wave which has settled on Texas and much of the central United States is driving increased electric use. Other grid operators are operating under similar conservative operations programs as ERCOT due to the heatwave.
  • Low wind. While solar power is generally reaching near full generation capacity, wind generation is currently generating significantly less than what it historically generated in this time period. Current projections show wind generation coming in less than ten percent of its capacity.

Under current projected scenarios, performance of the generation fleet Monday is:

(Courtesy: ERCOT)

The total forecasted demand is 79,671 megawatts.

How to track electricity demand

For more assistance, you can call the Public Utility Commission of Texas Hotline at 1-888-782-8477.