Energy Alert issued for Texas: What it means for your electricity usage

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High temperatures across the state are putting a huge load on the power grid and now Texans are being asked to conserve so the state does not have to shut off the power. (KTRK)

An Energy Alert is being issued in Texas. One-hundred-degree temperatures across the state are putting a huge load on the power grid and now you are being asked to conserve. The state's electric grid operator is hoping to keep demand from reaching levels that could potentially lead to rolling brownouts.

Areas in red are subject to rolling blackouts, but not all homes in all the red areas will be affected at the same time.

Two things are happening right now: hot weather and unexpected loss of power generating stations in Texas. Put them together and it's putting a strain on the power grid that could lead to forced outages, but fortunately we are not there just yet.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, also known as ERCOT, is asking people to voluntarily cut back on their power demands because yesterday the state set a record for July power demand and that's expected to happen again today.

Added to that are unexpected the loss of some power generating plants and less-than-expected generation from wind mills. State officials say all that is eating into the power reserves.

Right now, we are in a conservation alert, which calls for voluntary conservation. That is being urged because, according to the Public Utility Commission, there is a chance that electrical shortages may happen during peak demand hours from 3pm to 7pm -- and nobody wants that to happen.

Centerpoint's David Dzierski said, "It's in everybody's best interest that we all try to conserve power, try to conserve electricity, and ERCOT's asking right now for help statewide and we're trying to be our best corporate citizen and try to support that."

You may recall back in 2011 we did have rolling brownouts that shut off air conditioners and street lights and made things tough across the city and state. Officials hope by issuing a conservation request that can be avoided this year.
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