ERCOT asks Texans to conserve electricity again, expects ‘tight grid conditions’ due to freezing temperatures

Conservation appeal for 6-9 a.m. Tuesday; ERCOT expecting similar conditions on Wednesday


SAN ANTONIO – For the second day in a row, the Electrical Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is asking Texans to conserve electricity as the electric grid conditions tighten due to freezing temperatures.

ERCOT is requesting safe conservation efforts on Tuesday from 6-9 a.m.

ERCOT, which operates the electricity grid in Texas, issued the call at noon on Monday but said the conservation appeal does not indicate emergency conditions “at this time.”

A news release states that ERCOT is forecasting an increase in demand Tuesday morning as people go back to work or school after the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Temperatures for Tuesday morning are also forecasted at below-freezing.

This is the second time ERCOT urged Texans to conserve energy — the first appeal took place from 6-10 a.m. Monday, the morning after arctic air arrived in Texas.

“This morning, ERCOT avoided emergency operations due to the conservation efforts by Texas residents and businesses, combined with additional grid reliability tools,” a news release reads. “ERCOT is expecting similar conditions on Wednesday, January 17, and will continue to closely monitor conditions and keep the public informed through our communication channels.”

The ERCOT supply and demand forecast for 8 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 15 through Thursday, Jan. 18, 2024. (KSAT)

A strong, arctic cold front arrived in San Antonio and the Hill Country on Sunday. Temperatures will struggle to rise above freezing on Monday, while wind chill values from gusty winds will almost certainly be in the 20s or lower.

By Tuesday morning, gusty winds return, as temperatures fall into the teens. That equates to wind chills in the single digits, and in some cases, below zero. Stay up to date on the forecast by visiting the KSAT Weather Authority page or downloading KSAT’s weather app.

ERCOT said it would “remain vigilant and communicate further if conditions change because of continued freezing temperatures and very high demand in the morning hours.”

“At this time, if you are experiencing an outage, it is local in nature and not related to overall grid reliability. Please check with your local electric provider for more information,” the release reads.


The agency requested all government agencies to implement plans to reduce energy usage until at least 9 a.m. Tuesday.

ERCOT had previously issued a Weather Watch — for Sunday, Jan. 14, through Wednesday, Jan. 17 — that did not include an energy conservation appeal.


Energy-saving tips can be found on the TXANS webpage at

Why the Request to Reduce Usage?

  • Weather. Most of Texas is seeing extremely cold temperatures for an extended period of time.
  • Demand. Texas is experiencing record breaking demand due to the cold weather.
  • Solar. Solar generation isn’t available in the early morning hours, which is a peak demand time during winter, and slowly ramps up as the sun rises.
  • Wind. Wind generation is forecasted to be lower than seasonally expected in the early morning hours.

Peak Demand

  • In 2023, January peak demand reached 65,632 MW, with the current all-time peak demand record of 85,508 MW set on August 10, 2023. The all-time winter peak demand record of 74,525 MW was set December 23, 2022, in the 7-8 a.m. hour during Winter Storm Elliott.

Consumer Assistance

  • Public Utility Commission of Texas Hotline: 1-888-782-8477

About the Authors

Kolten Parker is digital executive producer at KSAT. He is an amateur triathlete, enjoys playing and watching soccer, traveling and hanging out with his wife.

Rebecca Salinas is an award-winning digital journalist who joined KSAT in 2019. She reports on a variety of topics for KSAT 12 News.

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