Cooler Temps Drop Power Outage Threat

By Frank Heinz
|  Monday, Aug 8, 2011  |  Updated 5:14 PM CDT
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The latest forecast from NBC 5.

Remeisha Shade

The latest forecast from NBC 5.

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ERCOT says lower forecasted temperatures decreases the demand for electricity as well as the threat of forced outages.

The projected peak for Monday is 65,988 megawatts, which is lower than the electricity demand last week which set new records on three consecutive days.

ERCOT said they do not expect to set new peak demand records this week due to cooler temperatures.  With that, they do not anticipate the need to initiate energy emergency alert procedures Monday unless they unexpectedly lose a large amount of power generation.

Even though the demand is expected to be lower, North Texans should still try to conserve as much as possible between the hours of 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.

The forecasted high is 104 degrees on Monday and 106 degrees on Tuesday.

Conservation tips

Consumers can help by shutting off unnecessary lights and electrical appliances between 3 and 7 p.m., and delaying laundry and other activities requiring electricity-consuming appliances until later in the evening. Other conservation tips from the Public Utility Commission’s “Powerful Advice”  include:

  • Turn off all unnecessary lights, appliances, and electronic equipment.
  • When at home, close blinds and drapes that get direct sun, set air conditioning thermostats to 78 degrees or higher, and use fans in occupied rooms to feel cooler.
  • When away from home, set air conditioning thermostats to 85 degrees and turn all fans off before you leave. Block the sun by closing blinds or drapes on windows that will get direct sun.
  • Do not use your dishwasher, laundry equipment, hair dryers, coffee makers, or other home appliances during the peak hours of 3 to 7 p.m.
  • Avoid opening refrigerators or freezers more than necessary.
  • Use microwaves for cooking instead of an electric range or oven.
  • Set your pool pump to run in the early morning or evening instead of the afternoon.

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 nonessential production processes.

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