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Texans asked to conserve energy during peak season

Cleburne Times-Review

Aug. 15--One megawatt of electricity is enough to power 200 homes on a hot summer day.

On Tuesday, the demand for electricity through the Electric Reliability Council of Texas -- which manages the flow of electric power to more than 25 million Texas customers -- came in at 74,181 megawatts between 3 and 4 p.m.

Just as temperatures reached 103 degrees in Johnson County, ERCOT issued an emergency alert, calling on all customers to conserve energy.

"High temperatures have resulted in record electricity demand over the last few days," ERCOT CEO Bill Magness said. "Consumers can help lower energy consumption by taking some simple actions between the hours of 3-7 p.m."

Citing high statewide temperatures, Oncor Electric Delivery Company echoed ERCOT's call for conservation.

"This is an issue of supply and demand," said Connie Piloto, director of communications for Oncor. "While Oncor's transmission and distribution infrastructure is prepared to handle the increased load, there may not be enough current supply of generation to meet the current demand for electricity."

United Cooperative Services CEO Cameron Smallwood said consumers should be aware that peak energy use periods occur when consumers are getting ready for their day in the morning and when they get home from work during the afternoon and evening.

"Liken it to rush hour traffic, but this time the congestion is on the power grid as consumers get home from work and appliances and HVAC equipment start to be utilized at a significantly higher level than they were only several hours earlier," Smallwood said. "It's also very common for wholesale electricity prices to increase during times of higher demand, so everything we do to reduce energy usage can go a long way toward saving on energy costs."

Electricity consumers can implement a number of summer energy conservation measures that will minimize their usage during peak periods, which benefits them with regards to their bills and benefits the electric grid by relieving some of the demand.

United offers the following tips to beat the peak:

--Set the air conditioning thermostat to 78 degrees or higher. Greater peak-shaving can occur by increasing the setting by 2-3 degrees during the peak time.

--Use clothes washers, dryers, dishwashers and other electric devices sparingly and try to get in the practice of using them outside of the peak energy use periods. If it's necessary to use them during peak periods, try to limit usage to one appliance at a time.

--The use of electric appliances, such as ovens, should be avoided during peak periods. Not only does an electric oven or range increase demand, it also raises the temperature in the home, resulting in longer run times for an air conditioner.

Consumers can monitor real-time grid conditions by downloading the ERCOT mobile app in the Apple Store and Google Play and/or by following ERCOT on Twitter.


(c)2019 the Cleburne Times-Review (Cleburne, Texas)

Visit the Cleburne Times-Review (Cleburne, Texas) at

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