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ERCOT asks Texans to conserve energy through Friday

If things get worse, CenterPoint says ERCOT may order controlled outages.

HOUSTON — ERCOT is once again asking you to conserve power.

The Texas power grid manager is forecasting another afternoon of electricity demand getting very close to reaching supply.

ERCOT is blaming customer demand and unplanned outages of power generation.

CenterPoint does not generate electricity, but they are asking people to conserve this week. That’s especially true from 3 to 7 p.m. – the hottest part of the day.

On one of the hottest days of the year the Flores Neighborhood Library is the coolest is one of the coolest spots in Houston’s East End.

“In weather like this, it’s really important,” Kathryn Dollens, a resident, said.

Dollens has A/C at her home.

“I already have it set kinda high. We have fans going,” she said.

However, some of her neighbors have a harder time cooling off.

“Where I live has had a lot of really recent development, but there’s also a lot of folks that have been here longer, and you can see the window units,” she said.

For the rest of this week, ERCOT is asking Texans to set their thermostat to 78 degrees or higher, turn off lights and pool pumps, avoid using large appliances like ovens, washing machines and dryers, and unplug electrical items you don't need.

City officials are encouraging people to go to local libraries to stay cool.

KHOU 11 Energy Expert Ed Hirs says he’s not surprised.

“For eight our of the last 10 years, the generation companies have not earned enough revenues to cover their costs and so if you do that, you really don’t want to reinvest, you don’t want to maintain you equipment,” Hirs said.

Dollens is frustrated too.

“We just did this, the Legislative session’s about to end, and what have they done with it?” she said.

If things get worse, CenterPoint says ERCOT may order controlled outages.

That’s a last-resort option designed to keep the grid up.

CenterPoint says customers, especially those who rely on electricity for life-sustaining equipment, should make a back-up plan now.