ERCOT Issues Conservation Alert: Texans Are Being Asked To Limit Electricity Use


TEXAS, USA — This story will be updated with new developments Monday.

Texans are being asked to reduce their electric use as much as possible for the rest of the week. Electric demand was predicted to outpace supply Monday afternoon as temperatures soar into the triple digits throughout the state, data from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas shows.

While there was enough supply to meet demand Monday morning, ERCOT’s daily outlook showed that demand could outmatch supply by the afternoon. The conservation request is expected to last through Friday, June 18.

How to conserve energy

Under the conservation alert, ERCOT is asking residential consumers to:

  • Set thermostat to 78 degrees or higher
  • Close drapes and blinds
  • Turn off and unplug nonessential devices like lights, pool pumps, etc.
  • Avoid using larger appliances like ovens, dryers or washing machines

Businesses are also being asked to minimize their lighting and use of electric equipment, and large consumers should shut down or reduce non-essential production, according to ERCOT.

ERCOT added that every degree of cooling Texans use increases their energy use by 6 to 8%.

Those with critical medical needs should get in touch with their local electricity provider to create a plan in case controlled outages are put in place.

Could Texas experience power outages?

Monday’s peak load could exceed 73,000 MW, ERCOT officials said, which would be above the previous June record of 69,123 MW set back in 2018. Demand already reached above that by 2 p.m. Monday when it was at about 69,360 MW.

When demand is higher than electric supply, ERCOT will begin its emergency operations to protect the grid from an uncontrolled outage. The council’s emergency operations has three different levels and begins when reserves drop below 2,300 megawatts and aren’t expected to recover within 30 minutes. Level 2 begins when those reserves go below 1,750 MW, and Level 3 starts when that number hits 1,375.

If reserves drop below 1,000 MW and aren’t expected to go back up in the next 30 minutes, ERCOT then institutes controlled outages as a last resort, much like what Texans experienced in February and years prior.