COLD-DRIVEN DEMAND MAKES ELECTRICITY CONSERVATION NECESSARY
Austin, TX – The Public Utility Commission of Texas today echoed a call from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas for electricity conservation. Narrow margins between cold-driven demand and the supply of available power across the state are expected to occur periodically through Tuesday.
“The lowest temperatures Texas has seen in decades necessitate a shared response across the state, from households to factories,” said Chairman DeAnn Walker. “Along with the tools ERCOT uses to maintain the reliability of the grid, common sense conservation also plays a critical role in our state’s endurance of this challenge.”
ERCOT has called upon power consumers across the grid to reduce their electricity use as much as possible from Sunday, February 14, to Tuesday, February 16.
“This record cold is not only compelling customers to increase their power usage to stay warm, it’s also icing wind turbines and straining our natural-gas powered resources,” said Commissioner Arthur D’Andrea. “With the grid pinched like that, ‘demand response’ in the form of reduced consumption is an essential shared action.”
Household tips for reducing electricity use, include:
- Turning down thermostats to 68-degrees or lower.
- Closing shades and blinds to reduce the amount of heat lost through windows.
- Turning off and unplugging non-essential lights and appliances.
- Avoiding use of large appliances (i.e., ovens, washing machines, etc.).
Businesses should also minimize the use of electric lighting and electricity-consuming equipment as much as possible or even consider reducing non-essential production processes.
Grid reliability is ERCOT’s leading responsibility and they have a number of actions at their disposal,” said Commissioner Shelly Botkin. “As the operating reserves shrink, they can also declare an Energy Emergency Alert, a three-level system which progressively employs additional actions to keep the grid stable.”