CPS issues high energy demand alert for Aug. 28. What you should do.

Tips to help reduce demand on the energy grid (and save money!)


SAN ANTONIO – CPS is asking residents in the San Antonio area to reduce their electricity demand for the afternoon of Aug. 28 in an effort to reduce the likelihood of rolling brown- or black-outs.

Read more from CPS below about high-energy demand days and how you can help.

High energy demand days happen a few days each summer when demand for electricity is highest, and they typically occur 3p.m. and 7p.m. on very hot days.

What to do on high energy demand days:

  • Pay attention to messaging from Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) requesting you to reduce energy demand during certain hours.
  • Set thermostats 2° to 3° higher from 3p.m. to 7p.m. Set programmable thermostats to higher temperatures when no one is home
  • If home, use fans to feel 4° to 6° cooler.
  • Set pool pumps to run early morning or overnight & shut off from 3p.m. to 7p.m.
  • Turn off and unplug non-essential lights and appliances.
  • Avoid using large appliances (i.e. ovens, washing machines, etc.), especially during peak demand hours or the hours specified in the conservation appeal.
  • 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.
  • Review the energy-saving tips for air conditioning, refrigerator & freezer, washer, dryer & dishwasher, electronics and lighting.

Read even more energy-saving tips below:

  • Measure appliance energy use with a plug-in power meter, which is a small device that can help you understand what and where your household is consuming energy daily. This provides you with information, which you can use to run a more energy-efficient household.
  • Minimize appliance use during times of peak energy demand.
  • To help reduce the effect of peak energy demand, charge your electric vehicle between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.
  • Adjust the brightness setting on your television and computer screens to use less power. Factory settings may not be optimized for energy efficiency.
  • Choose an energy efficient television. Newer models are generally more efficient; however, plasma screens use 2-3 times more energy than LED screens.
  • Select efficient office equipment. Choose laptop computers, which consume less electricity than desktop computers.
  • Set your computer to “sleep mode” when not in use; turn it off at night.
  • Turn off and unplug electronics when they’re not in use; use power strips to easily turn off electronics.
  • Ceiling fans should run counterclockwise in the summer.
  • A ceiling fan can make a room feel 4 degrees cooler. Turn off the ceiling fan when no one is in the room
  • Use energy-efficient fans. An ENERGY STAR® ceiling fan is up to 60% more energy-efficient than non-certified fans. They require a higher initial investment but consume less energy over time.
  • Insulate outlets and light switches that are located on external walls.
  • Insulate walls, attic and crawl spaces. CPS Energy offers a rebate for fiberglass, cellulose, and spray foam attic insulation, which is installed between air-conditioned and unconditioned areas. Learn more at cpsenergy.com/savings.
  • Enjoy unplugged activities. Play board games, cards, read a book, take a walk, ride a bicycle, or take a nap.
  • Get a rebate for building energy efficiency into your new home. Developers are eligible for incentives for building homes that consume at least 15% less electric and gas energy than a home built to the requirements of IECC 2015, the current City of San Antonio building code. Learn more at cpsenergy.com/savings.
  • Make your roof a cool roof using eligible materials and get a rebate. Learn more at cpsenergy.com/savings.
  • Reduce investment costs with rebates while upgrading your home. Learn more at cpsenergy.com/savings.
  • Choose an efficient dehumidifier. Efficiency is determined by the dehumidifier’s power draw, moisture removal rate, and the fact that higher-capacity models are generally more efficient than lower-capacity models. Smaller capacity units draw less power per unit time than large-capacity units so they need to operate for a longer time to remove the same amount of moisture.
  • Adjust the temperature on window AC units for less cooling during times of peak energy demand.
  • Block air drafts around your doors and windows to prevent cool air from escaping.
  • Keep the area around your air conditioning vents and outdoor AC unit clear.
  • Have an HVAC tune-up twice a year, at the beginning of each heating and cooling season.
  • Replace or clean HVAC air filters regularly to keep them from becoming clogged, which causes your air
  • conditioning system to work less efficiently.
  • Seal gaps around window AC units to prevent cool air from escaping and hot air from entering.
  • Set your thermostat to 78°F in the summer.
  • Install a programmable Wi-Fi thermostat & enroll it in our program to get rebates. Learn more at cpsenergy.com/savings.
  • Replace or add a window unit and get a rebate of $15-$25. Learn more at cpsenergy.com/savings.
  • Replace your Central Air Conditioner and get a rebate of $90-$310 per ton. Learn more at cpsenergy.com/savings.
  • Cook meals in large batches and avoid peeking into the oven as you cook. Related blog post with more energy-
  • Avoid running the dishwasher during times of peak energy demand.
  • Buy ENERGY STAR® products certified to save energy.
  • Only run your dishwasher when it is full.
  • Hang laundry to dry.