The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the grid operator for most of Texas, announced a new June record for peak electric demand on June 25. Electric use during the 4 -5 p.m. hour averaged out at 65,047 megawatts (MW).
The previous record for June was 63,102 MW, which occurred on June 17, 2011. One MW is enough to power about 200 homes during peak demand periods, typically hot summer days like this one.
“As temperatures heat up throughout the state, electric use will follow closely,” said ERCOT CEO Trip Doggett. “Last year, ERCOT was able to provide reliable electric power through the hottest summer on record. We hope energy users will help again this year by reducing the amount of electricity they use during the hours between 3 and 7 p.m.”
With temperatures expected to remain hot through much of the week, ERCOT expects to see tight grid conditions continue during the 3-7 p.m. hours.
ERCOT will use a variety of channels to keep the public informed throughout the summer. ERCOT Energy Saver, a new mobile app now available for Apple and Android devices, will provide real-time alerts when conservation is most critical in the ERCOT region. Users of the free app need to enable push notifications to receive these messages. ERCOT also will provide information through the news media, Facebook, Twitter and ERCOT’s new subscription-based EmergencyAlerts list (http://lists.ercot.com).
Some steps everyone can take to reduce demand on the grid during these peak demand hours include the following:
• Turn your thermostat up by two or three degrees in the late afternoon.• If you will be away from home throughout the day, turn your thermostat up before leaving home in the morning.
• Set pool pumps to run late at night or early in the morning.• Avoid using large appliances, especially hot stoves and clothes dryers, during the peak.
For more conservation tips, download the ERCOT Energy Saver app or visit the Public Utility Commission of Texas website.