Tuesday is expected to be the third consecutive day with temperatures well into the triple-digits, prompting the Electric Reliability Council of Texas to ask for conservation efforts in the afternoon.
ERCOT sent out an alert at about 9 a.m. Tuesday asking residents and businesses to conserve electricity between the peak usage hours of 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. -- when usage is expected to exceed 65,000 megawatts.
While ERCOT expects to have adequate power to serve customers through the hottest part of the day, conservation is requested with the anticipated usage inching closer to the all-time peak record of 68,379 megawatts (Aug. 3, 2011). On Monday, Texans set a record for power usage in June with 65,047 megawatts used between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Each megawatt is enough to power about 200 homes during the peak period.
On Tuesday afternoon, the high is expected to climb to 104 degrees. Similar heat, and likely a similar call for conservation, is expected on Wednesday as temperatures are forecasted to reach 102 degrees. Temperatures are then expected to remain in the high 90s through the remainder of the week and through the weekend.
ERCOT lists the following tips for curbing use during peak hours:
- 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.
Smartphone users can stay informed with information directly from ERCOT by downloading the free ERCOT Energy Saver app to their Apple and Android devices.