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ERCOT seeks electricity conservation

Residents are being asked to conserve electricity tonight through noon tomorrow. 

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which operates the electric grid for most of Texas, made the request this afternoon to help manage the demands expected from the cold that covers much of the state, calling it a precautionary measure. 

Officials said problems with natural gas supplies triggered the call. 

To help, ERCOT asks for the following: 

  • Keep your thermostat as low as is comfortable, preferably no higher than 68 degrees.
  • Turn off and unplug non-essential lights and appliances.
  • Avoid running large appliances such as washers, dryers and electric ovens during peak energy demand hours (6-9 a.m. and 4-8 p.m.).
  • Close shades and blinds at night to reduce the amount of heat lost through windows.
  • Large consumers of electricity should consider shutting down or reducing non-essential production processes.
  • Businesses should minimize the use of electric lighting and electricity-consuming equipment as much as possible.

Thursday morning's peak demand exceeded 57,000 megawatts (MW) and demand overnight could reach or break the current record of 57,277 MW record before temperatures begin to rebound. 

- Staff report