TEXAS — It’s only June 14 and ERCOT, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, is already asking Texans to reduce their use of electricity.
About 12:30 p.m. Monday, the agency issued what it calls a “Conservation Alert,” calling on Texans to safely reduce power consumption. Austin and Dallas hit 99 degrees Sunday and the forecast for Monday is similar.
What does that mean? Texas residents are asked to set thermostats at 78 degrees or higher, turn off and unplug nonessential lights and appliances and avoid using large appliances such as dryers and ovens. You’re also asked to keep drapes and blinds closed.
Businesses are asked to minimize electric lighting and the use of electric equipment.
ERCOT has put the alert into effect until Friday, June 18.
According to the agency, forced generation outages combined with record potential electric use for the month of June has resulted in tight grid conditions.
“Generator owners have reported approximately 11,000 MW of generation is on forced outage for repairs; of that, approximately 8,000 MW is thermal and the rest is intermittent resources. According to the summer Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy, a typical range of thermal generation outages on hot summer days is around 3,600 MW. One MW typically powers around 200 homes on a summer day,” the agency wrote.
“We will be conducting a thorough analysis with generation owners to determine why so many units are out of service,” said ERCOT Vice President of Grid Planning and Operations Woody Rickerson. “This is unusual for this early in the summer season.”
ERCOT came under a great deal of scrutiny following the winter storm in February that left millions of Texans without power and resulted in the deaths of at least 150 people. A pair of bills passed during the 2021 legislative session are aimed at stabilizing the state’s electric grid and reforming ERCOT.
The hottest month in Texas is typically August.