With another day of extreme heat in the statewide forecast, ERCOT is asking Texas to voluntarily reduce electricity use on Tuesday afternoon, if it is safe to do so, due to extreme temperatures and the expectation of another day of record power demand.
ERCOT’s Notice of Voluntary Preservation is effective Tuesday, June 20 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Central Time. The agency said they are not in emergency conditions and that voluntary conservation is a widely used tool to help reduce demand during times of peak use, typically in the late afternoon and early evening — the hottest part of the day.
“The Voluntary Preservation Notice is part of ERCOT’s Texas Advisory and Notification System (TXANS), alerting the public to network conditions,” the agency said. “ERCOT requires all government agencies, including city and county offices, to implement all programs to reduce energy use at their facilities.”
Last week, ERCOT, the agency that manages the state’s power grid, released its Weather Watch for June 15-21, forecasting a record spike in demand due to the excessive heat.
On Monday, Texas broke its June peak demand record by 3,000 megawatts using 79,304 megawatts of power. Last summer, ERCOT said, Texas set 11 new peak demand records. The current all-time record is 80,148 megawatts which was set on July 20, 2022.
After ERCOT’s request Tuesday morning, the Texas Public Utilities Commission reiterated the call for conservation and urged Texas to help reduce demand on the grid.
ERCOT said it is using additional tools on Tuesday to reliably manage the grid, including standby power use, advocating for cuts by large electric customers who have volunteered to lower their energy use, and bringing more generation online sooner.
Energy saving tips can be found at ercot.com/txans.
Why the need to reduce usage?
Extreme heat. Much of Texas has been experiencing very high temperatures for an extended period.
• Order record. Texas is experiencing record heat demand.
Thermal outages. The incidence of forced outages in thermal power plants is higher than usual.
• Solar. Solar power generation wanes in the evening hours, before stopping completely at sunset.
• winds. Wind generation is low compared to historical performance during peak summer.
Map: How susceptible your neighbors are to overheating
Data shows that people who live in densely populated cities and remote rural areas are most at risk during heatwaves. The full story from NBC News can be read here. Use the map included below to find your area.
As summer heats up in North Texas, NBC 5’s Ben Russell tells us how we can keep our electricity costs down.
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