ERCOT, CPS Energy urge residents, businesses to conserve energy Wednesday amid sizzling heat

Conservation efforts urged between 2-9 p.m.

ERCOT asks Texans to conserve power during peak hours.

SAN ANTONIO – The Electric Reliability Council of Texas and CPS Energy are urging Texans to conserve energy on Wednesday as triple-digit temperatures are once again in the forecast.

According to a news release, ERCOT is urging people and businesses to voluntarily conserve electricity between 2-9 p.m., but no system-wide outages are expected.

Recommended Videos

Conditions on Wednesday are expected to be similar to those on Monday when Texans and businesses responded by voluntarily conserving electricity and helping ERCOT successfully meet record power demand by reducing their energy use by 500 MWs, the release said.

Conservation is a reliability tool ERCOT has deployed more than four dozen times since 2008 to successfully manage grid operations, the news release said. The notification is issued when projected reserves may fall below 2300 MW for 30 minutes or more.

All electric customers are encouraged to visit the Public Utility Commission’s (PUC) Power to Save or their electric provider’s websites for more conservation tips.

Some of the ways to conserve energy include turning up your thermostat a degree or two, if comfortable, or unplugging appliances not in use.

According to ERCOT, the following factors are driving the need for conservation among customers:

  • Record high electric demand. The heat wave that has settled on Texas and much of the central United States is driving increased electric use. Other grid operators are operating under similar conservative operations programs as ERCOT due to the heatwave.
  • Low wind. Wind generation is currently generating less than what is historically generated in this time period.
  • Forced thermal outages. The number of forced outages in thermal generation exceeds ERCOT forecasts.
  • Solar. Developing cloud cover in West Texas has reduced the amount of solar generation.

Under currently projected scenarios, the tightest hour of energy use is estimated to be between 3-4 p.m.

The total forecasted demand for Wednesday is 78,451 megawatts.

CPS Energy is urging customers to join fellow Texans to do their part in conservation efforts. By committing to conserve energy as much as possible, customers can help ERCOT avoid issuing an energy emergency alert which could lead to rotating outages.

Under CPS Energy’s color-coded conservation awareness notification system, today is a Yellow Day for greater San Antonio, and customers are asked to voluntarily conserve energy using the following tips:

  • Set thermostats 2 to 3 degrees higher from 2 – 9 p.m.; set programmable thermostats to higher temperatures (up to 85 degrees) when no one is home. The optimum energy-saving temperature is 78 – 80 degrees.
  • Avoid using large appliances (ovens, washing machines, etc.), especially during peak demand hours.
  • Use fans to feel four to six degrees cooler. Remember: fans cool people by moving air across the skin. They don’t cool rooms and should be turned off in empty rooms. Also, be sure fans are moving counter-clockwise to push air down.
  • Turn off and unplug non-essential lights and appliances.
  • Close shades and blinds on windows exposed to direct sunlight.
  • Charge electric vehicles after 10 p.m.
  • Set pool pumps to run early morning or overnight; shutoff from 2 -9 p.m.

To increase energy efficiency at work, business customers are encouraged to:

  • Minimize the use of lighting and electric equipment as much as possible.
  • Consider shutting down or reducing non-essential production processes.

Also on KSAT:

About the Authors

David Ibañez has been managing editor of since the website's launch in October 2000.

Recommended Videos