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ERCOT Warns Texans To Conserve Power as the Heat Wave Continues

Flashlight on floor, illuminating wall.

Texas residents have been warned to conserve power as the state continues to endure an ongoing heat wave. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is asking Texans to help prevent rolling blackouts and limit the strain on electricity grids by conserving energy during peak hours, according to KXAN News in Austin.

ERCOT said there has been an unprecedented rise in electricity demand due largely to the extreme temperatures across Texas this summer, which has caused an imbalance between power production and consumption. Keep reading to learn how to cut back on energy consumption and prepare for potential blackouts.

What Are the Facts?

ERCOT, which manages 90% of Texas’ power grid, recommended that residents conserve power on Monday, July 11, as temperatures continue to rise. A notice on the ERCOT website asks Texans for voluntary conservation between 2 and 8 p.m.

What Are the Impacts?

Texas is in a record-breaking heat wave, and ERCOT is asking residents to conserve power. The state is experiencing high electricity demand due to air conditioner usage, and ERCOT is working to avoid rotating outages. However, they warn that outages could occur if conservation efforts aren’t successful. This would be especially problematic given the current weather conditions.

If people don’t reduce their energy consumption by 8%, there will be rolling blackouts. Rolling blackouts occur when a utility company turns off power to various areas at different times of day or night to maintain enough energy for essential services such as hospitals and law enforcement.

With these rolling blackouts, there’s always a chance that an area will go without power for hours at a time. Thus far, many Texans have been heeding the call to conserve energy. As of July 10, ERCOT reported that we’ve reduced our power usage by over 6%.

Let’s hope we can keep up with this trend to enjoy our summer break from those scorching days.

What You Can Do To Prepare

Digital thermostat with a male hand pressing a button, set to 78 degrees Fahrenheit.

The best we can do is to prepare for the worst and conserve as much as possible. In ERCOT’s words, everyone needs to participate in reducing energy usage during this time. Take these precautions:

  • Set your thermostat between 78 degrees and 82 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Turn off lights when not in use.
  • Air conditioners should be set at 74 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Unplug small appliances or chargers that aren’t being used.
  • Limit hot water use by taking short showers instead of baths or using only cold water when doing laundry.
  • Switch to a programmable thermostat, which will automatically lower your AC or heater temperature if you’re away from home.
  • Keep your home and pets safe by using floor fans.
  • Ensure your children know how to stay safe outside on hot days and always drink plenty of fluids like water.

How To Prepare for Possible Outages

  1. Consider getting a backup generator like 24KW Generac. We have just enough in stock for our customers before it’s back on backorder.
  2. Stock up on canned food, backup batteries, water, and non-perishable items. 
  3. Reduce electricity usage by unplugging all unnecessary electronics and appliances from power outlets.
  4. Install dark window curtains to prevent sunlight from getting in, keeping your home cooler.

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