ERCOT ends energy conservation appeal 4 hours after state-wide announcement

Reliability Coordinators monitored the state power grid during a tour of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) command center in Taylor in 2012. Credit: REUTERS/Julia Robinson


ERCOT ended the energy emergency the grid operator initiated four hours after it issued a plea to Texans to conserve energy.


The state’s main power grid operator asked Texans to conserve power Tuesday afternoon and into the evening as the electricity grid is barely keeping up with the demand for electricity.

But the Electric Reliability Council of Texas said it does not expect customer outages, like those caused in February.

The tight conditions for the grid are being caused by a stalled cold front over Texas, combined with a high number of energy-producing plants being offline for maintenance.

“This emergency declaration allows us to access tools that will bring supply and demand back into line,” Woody Rickerson, an ERCOT vice president, said in a statement.

Maintenance outages are very common during the spring and fall. Those outages are higher than usual right now, a spokesperson told the Tribune early Tuesday, due to additional repairs necessary from the February winter storm.

A spokesperson for ERCOT was not immediately available to comment Tuesday afternoon.

CPS Energy offers the following conservation tips:

  • Set thermostats 2 to 3 degrees higher, from now until 7:00 p.m.; set programmable thermostats to higher temperatures when no one is home. The optimum energy-saving temperature is 78 degrees.
  • Avoid using large appliances (i.e. ovens, washing machines, etc.), especially during peak demand hours.
  • Use fans to feel 4 to 6 degrees cooler.
  • Set pool pumps to run early morning or overnight; shutoff from 4:00-6:00 p.m.
  • Turn off and unplug non-essential lights and appliances.

To also increase energy effectiveness at work, business customers should:

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

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