ERCOT asks Texans to reduce electricity use through Friday

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which controls about 90% of the power in Texas, is asking residents to conserve electricity through Friday as temperatures in the state soar.

The council says the power grid will be stressed due to a high number of generation facilities out of service. Demand may exceed supply during afternoon peak heat hours, and the situation is not expected to change much during the week with temperatures climbing to near 100 degrees.

ERCOT says 12,000 megawatts of generation are currently out because of repairs, mostly unplanned. On hot summer days, a typical range of outages is about 3,600 megawatts.

One megawatt can power about 200 homes on a summer day.

When supply and demand get of balance, the risk exists of the electric grid completely failing - generation equipment breaks down, and the entire system goes dark.

ERCOT is asking Texans to do the following to help reduce demand:

  • Set thermostats to 78° or higher
  • Turn off lights and pool pumps
  • Avoid using large appliances like washers, dryers and ovens
  • Turn off and unplug any unnecessary electrical devices.

ERCOT has been under national scrutiny since February winter storm outages left millions in the dark and in the cold for days. Last month, the council said it expected a low risk for emergency conditions from June through September, predicting peak summer demand of 77,144 megawatts.

PHOTO: Getty Images

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