TEXAS, USA — Temperatures in Texas are scorching with no signs of relief in the coming days.
The triple-digit temps are causing Texans to crank up the air to stay cool, but the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which operates the state's electric grid, is asking residents and businesses to voluntarily conserve power Monday from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.
ERCOT's request to conserve energy is to prevent an uncontrolled system-wide outage.
Ways to conserve energy:
- Change thermostat to 78 degrees, Austin Energy says.
- Businesses should minimize energy usage as much as possible.
- Lower the water heater temperature to 120 degrees.
- Unplug electronic devices and turn off lights that are not in use.
- Reduce shower time and avoid baths.
- Refrain from using large appliances like a washer, dryer, oven, and dishwasher. When in use, limit opening the oven door to prevent wasted energy.
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8:10 p.m. — CenterPoint said ERCOT has returned to normal operations and conservation is no longer being requested.
7 p.m. — ERCOT said between 1:56 p.m. and 2 p.m., customers took action and nearly 500 MW of load dropped off. Monday set a new unofficial all-time peak demand record and a July peak record, ERCOT reported.
2 p.m. — The state's demand for electricity was nearing the power grid's supply, and ERCOT updated its status condition from "green" to "yellow," asking Texans to reduce power use.
1:30 p.m — Fort Bend County asks residents to take precautions after ERCOT requests Texans to conserve energy.
12:18 p.m. — The Texas Office of Public Utility Counsel said there are no system-wide outages expected today. PUC said local outages do not mean there is not sufficient generation.
10:32 a.m. — ERCOT requests Texans to conserve energy on Monday from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Real-time grid conditions
Using its free app, ERCOT allows you to monitor real-time grid conditions:
ERCOT suggests Texans conserve electricity by raising thermostats to 78 degrees and postponing using large appliances (dishwashers, laundry machines, etc.) during peak afternoon hours.