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Energy Conservation

8/29/2011
 

Energy Conservation Encouraged - August 29, 2011

(Austin) - Consumers and businesses are asked to reduce their electricity use throughout the day, but especially during peak electricity hours from 3 to 7 p.m. today and for the rest of the week to avert the need for rotating outages.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Inc. (ERCOT), system operator for the state’s bulk transmission grid, is asking Texas residents and businesses to continue conserving energy during this extremely hot weather. According to ERCOT, capacity is expected to be very tight today - particularly between 3 and 7 p.m. 

"As we expected, this weekend's temperatures and electricity usage have been record-breaking, said ERCOT spokeswoman Theresa Gage.

"ERCOT broke a new record yesterday (Sunday)for peak weekend usage and it's likely that we'll hit a new all-time peak demand record on Monday or Tuesday," Gage said. "We can't stress this enough; we need everyone to conserve electricity from 3-7 p.m. If every person in ERCOT does a little, it makes a huge difference."

Consumers can help by shutting off unnecessary lights and electrical appliances, minimizing the use of air conditioning and delaying laundry and other activities requiring electricity-consuming appliances until later in the evening.

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 non-essential production processes.

How to Track Electricity Demand

Consumer Assistance

  • Public Utility Commission Consumer Hotline - 1-888-782-8777
  • Office of Public Utility Counsel Consumer Assistance - 1-877-839-0363

Call Your Electric Utility for Information about Local Outages

ERCOT manages the state’s high-voltage bulk electricity grid.  For questions about local outages at your home or business, or questions about rotating outage procedures for your neighborhood, contact the utility company or transmission provider listed on your electric bill.

American Electric Power - AEP
Austin Energy
Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative 
 
Brazos Electric Power Cooperative
Brownsville Public Utilities Board
Bryan Texas Utilities
CenterPoint Energy
College Station Utilities
CPS Energy - San Antonio
Denton Municipal Electric
Garland Power & Light
Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative
LCRA
Magic Valley Electric Cooperative
Nueces Electric Cooperative 
Oncor
Pedernales Electric Cooperative
 
Rayburn County Electric Cooperative
Sharyland Utilities
South Texas Electric Cooperative
Texas-New Mexico Power

ERCOT Region

The ERCOT Region includes Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Austin, Corpus Christi, Abilene and the Rio Grande Valley. It does not include the El Paso area, the Texas Panhandle, Northeast Texas (Longview, Marshall and Texarkana), and Southeast Texas (Beaumont, Port Arthur, and the Woodlands). Region map

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Inc., (ERCOT) manages the flow of electric power to approximately 23 million Texas customers -- representing 85 percent of the statess electric load and 75 percent of the Texas land area. As the Independent System Operator for the region, ERCOT schedules power on an electric grid that connects 40,500 miles of transmission lines and more than 550 generation units. ERCOT also manages financial settlement for the competitive wholesale bulk-power market and administers customer switching for 6.6 million Texans in competitive choice areas. ERCOT is a membership-based 501(c)(4) nonprofit corporation, governed by a board of directors and subject to oversight by the Public Utility Commission of Texas and the Texas Legislature. 



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