Residents asked to conserve electricity during peak hours

June 28, 2011 3:23:55 PM PDT
For the second consecutive day, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is asking Texans to conserve their electricity use. ERCOT is asking you do so during the peak hours of 3pm to 7pm. A power watch was first issued yesterday because of high demand and also because some units failed. ERCOT says they are back up and running, but it still expects a high demand for electricity today.

On Monday, ERCOT says they unexpectedly lost several generation units. That, combined with the high temperatures, put a strain on the system. Consumers and businesses were asked to reduce electricity usage from 3pm to 7pm. But by 5pm, authorities canceled the alert and said they'd continue to monitor the situation.

The electricity demand forecast for Tuesday is expected to exceed Monday's, but the units that failed -- among others that weren't in use on Monday -- are expected to be available again.

"We appreciate the efforts from businesses and consumers who reduced their electricity consumption in response to our appeal for conservation," said Kent Saathoff, vice president of grid operations and system planning.

During an Energy Emergency Alert Level 1, ERCOT suggests limiting electricity usage to only what is absolutely necessary, set air conditioning thermostats to 80 degrees, and use fans. Businesses should minimize the use of electric lighting and electricity-consuming equipment as much as possible.

List of ERCOT conservation tips:

  • Limit electricity usage to only that consumption which is absolutely necessary. Turn off all unnecessary lights, appliances, and electronic equipment.
  • Do not use your dishwasher, laundry equipment, hair dryers, coffee makers, pool pump, or other home appliances between the hours of 3 to 7 p.m.
  • Close blinds and drapes on windows that get direct sun, set air conditioning thermostats to 80 degrees, and use fans to circulate the air.
  • Use microwaves or outdoor grills for cooking to avoid heating the home.
  • Businesses should minimize the use of electric lighting and electricity-consuming equipment as much as possible.
  • Large consumers of electricity should consider shutting down or reducing non-essential production processes.


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