Electric Reliability Council of Texas urges consumers to reduce electricity consumption during cold snap
By Kristen Meriwether, Editor LPR
Due to a huge surge in demand, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is asking consumers and businesses to reduce their electricity use as much as possible Sunday, Feb. 14 through Tuesday, Feb. 16.
“We are experiencing record-breaking electric demand due to the extreme cold temperatures that have gripped Texas,” ERCOT President and CEO Bill Magness said in a press release. “At the same time, we are dealing with higher-than-normal generation outages due to frozen wind turbines and limited natural gas supplies available to generating units. We are asking Texans to take some simple, safe steps to lower their energy use during this time.”
Consumption during this February cold snap is on par with some of the hottest days of the summer.
The ERCOT said if power reserves drop too low, they may need to declare an Energy Emergency Alert. As a last resort, rotating outages may be implemented to maintain reliability of the electric system.
Here are some tips to reduce electricity use:
- Turn down thermostats to 68-degrees.
- Close shades and blinds to reduce the amount of heat lost through windows.
- Turn off and unplug non-essential lights and appliances.
- Avoid using large appliances (i.e., ovens, washing machines, etc.).
- 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.