ERCOT Says Texans Conserved, Shaved 500 MW Off Demand

ERCOT says Texans responded to call for conservation; wind generation picks up

NBCUniversal, Inc.

What to Know

  • Texans urged to conserve electricity Monday during the hot afternoon hours when peak demand was expected to reach nearly 80,000 MW.
  • No systemwide outages are expected.
  • Voluntary conservation is needed between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Monday.

The operator of the state's power grid says Texans responded when asked to conserve energy Monday to avoid an energy emergency during the extreme summer heat.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, said at 9 p.m. Sunday that it projected a shortage in energy reserves Monday “with no market solution available" and asked Texans to conserve power on Monday afternoon.

ERCOT forecasted demand Monday afternoon to reach 79,671 MW and before 5 p.m. that number had topped 78,370 MW, which may be a record.

ERCOT told NBC 5 Monday afternoon that they believe Texans responded to the request to conserve and that they saw a drop of about 500 MW in power usage in the first four minutes after the conservation effort took effect. That amount of power is equivalent to what id needed to power about 100,000 homes.

Energy industry sources told NBC 5 Monday afternoon that wind generation is rebounding after dropping to about 700 MW of generation earlier in the day and, according to ERCOT's dashboard, was producing about 3000 MW of power by 3 p.m. For perspective, in late June many days of wind produced 20,000 MW.

Wind generation is expected to pick up substantially Monday evening and that should help avoid additional issues in the 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. range, which is typically the most challenging time when solar power goes offline as the sun sets and people are at home cranking up the air conditioner, appliances and pool pumps.

By 10 p.m. Monday, wind generation had climbed back to 12,000 MW, according to ERCOT's dashboard.

As ERCOT, the state's power grid operator, is closely monitoring power usage and urging Texans to conserve energy.

According to ERCOT, factors driving the need for the call for conservation Monday include record demand and low wind impacting wind generation.

  • Record high electric demand. The heat wave that has settled on Texas and much of the central United States is driving increased electric use. Due to the heatwave, other grid operators are operating under similar conservative operations programs as ERCOT.
  • Low wind. While solar power is generally reaching near-full generation capacity, wind generation is currently generating significantly less than what it historically generates in this time period. Current projections show wind generation coming in less than 10% of its capacity.

Conservation notifications are issued when projected reserves may fall below 2300 MW for 30 minutes or more, according to ERCOT, who added that calls for conservation have been used more than four dozen times since 2008 to successfully manage grid operations.

ERCOT is asking Texans to consider raising their thermostats a degree or two to a safe and comfortable temperature and not using major appliances, like laundry machines, or pool pumps during the peak afternoon hours.

Should you lose power, however, there are several cooling stations opening up around North Texas for those needing a break from the heat wave. See a list here.


  • Set your thermostat to 78 degrees or higher – every degree of cooling increases your energy use by 6% to 8%.
  • Turn off lights and pool pumps and avoid using large appliances like ovens, washing machines, and dryers.
  • If you don’t need something, ERCOT asks you to turn it off and unplug it if possible. 

    Find more energy-saving tips at

    Contact Us