Electric Reliability Council of Texas says to reduce electricity usage in peak hours

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(July 18, 2011)--The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), operator of the state's bulk transmission grid, asks everyone to reduce electricity use during peak hours from 3 to 7 p.m. UTSA is doing its part by saving 2.5 megawatts (MW) per day by using a natural gas generator and by raising thermostats two degrees across the Tri-Campus community.

The appeal to reduce electricity use comes with the extreme heat and rising demand for electricity for air conditioning. A new record for peak electricity demand in July was set Thursday, July 14 with 64,226 MW.

According to Kent Saathoff, vice president of grid operations and system planning, "We are expecting the statewide power supplies to be very tight over peak today, primarily due to the forecast for continued temperature extremes which causes higher-than-normal electricity use and because of unexpected unit outages."

Other conservation tips from ERCOT include:

  • Turn off unnecessary lights.
  • Avoid opening refrigerators or freezers more than necessary.
  • When away from home, turn off fans and set air conditioning thermostats to 85 degrees.
  • Refrain from using your dishwasher, laundry equipment, coffee makers, hair dryers or other electrical home appliances during the peak hours of 3-7 p.m.

For more energy conservation tips, visit the UTSA Facilities website.

For information about power outages at homes or business and rotating outage procedures for their areas, consumers can contact their utility company.