ERCOT asks customers to conserve energy

February 10, 2011 3:29:42 PM PST
The temperatures have dipped back below freezing again and ERCOT is warning that could lead to more rolling blackouts. The agency that runs the state's power grid is predicting a winter record of 60,000 megawatts of electricity to be used this morning. ERCOT doesn't expect blackouts but is asking Texans to conserve energy.

ERCOT is urging consumers and businesses to cut back on electricity use the next few days during peak usage hours. Those peak times run from 6am to 9am and from 4pm to 8pm.

The agency says this will help reduce the need for rotating outages.


"The National Weather Service is anticipating severe cold weather statewide this week, as another arctic air mass is expected to reach deep into Texas, dropping temperatures back into the teens and twenties," said Trip Doggett, CEO, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) grid operator for the state.

"In anticipation of this severe cold weather, ERCOT will procure additional generation capacity for real-time operations to help maintain reliable delivery of power during this extreme weather event over the next few days," he said.

Wednesday's peak demand is currently projected to be more than 54,000 megawatts between 8-9pm , and more than 58,000 megawatts, which would be a new winter record, between 7-8am on Thursday. The current winter peak demand record is 56,334 megawatts which occurred Feb. 2, between 7 and 8pm.


  • Turn thermostats to 68 degrees or below in the daytime and to 55 degrees when leaving for the day.
  • Turn off and un-plug non-essential lights and appliances.
  • Avoid running large appliances such as washers, dryers, and electric ovens during peak energy demand hours.
  • Close shades and blinds at night to reduce the amount of heat lost through windows.
  • 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.