DALLAS — The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which operates the state's electric grid, asked residents and businesses to voluntarily conserve power Monday afternoon and into the evening due to the extreme heat.
ERCOT issued an appeal on Sunday night for energy conservation on Monday, July 11, from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.
As 2 p.m. arrived Monday, the state's demand for electricity neared the power grid's supply, and ERCOT updated its status condition from "green" to "yellow," asking Texans to reduce power use.
After 8 p.m. arrived, ERCOT's grid conditions returned to "green," or normal conditions.
Shortly before the appeal expired, a spokesperson told WFAA that ERCOT “did not anticipate” issuing additional conservation notices this week.
The agency said there was a clear drop off in demand between 1:56 p.m. and 2 p.m. Monday, as the conservation alert went into effect. ERCOT said demand went down by about 500 megawatts in those four minutes. Five hundred megawatts is equivalent to powering about 10,000 homes.
ERCOT also says demand for power set an unofficial record Monday, hitting an all-time peak of 78,264 megawatts. The previous record of 78,204 megawatts had been sent just three days before.
While ERCOT’s live grid conditions may show different numbers, the agency says records aren’t set until demand is held at a particular number for one full hour.
This conservation appeal came during a time that ERCOT is dealing with a high demand for energy from across the state. On Saturday, the peak demand landed at about 77,532 megawatts. On Friday, which was the hottest day of the year so far, there was an all-time demand record of 78,418 megawatts.
ERCOT said the record demands this summer are due to the triple-digit temperatures across the state.
Using its free app, ERCOT allows you to monitor real-time grid conditions:
ERCOT suggests Texans conserve electricity by raising thermostats to 78 degrees and postponing using large appliances (dishwashers, laundry machines, etc.) during peak afternoon hours.