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High electricity demand predicted this summer

By: The Brownsville Herald |

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the electric grid operator for most of the state, is predicting tight operating reserves of electricity this summer, especially during the late afternoon hours on the hottest days.

As such, ERCOT said it’s likely to initiate conservation alerts or power watches on some days.

These alerts ask consumers to reduce electric use to help ERCOT maintain reliability of the grid and ensure there is enough generation to meet consumer needs.

Kent Saathoff of ERCOT said that rotating outages could be necessary “if generation outages exceed expected conditions during peak demand periods or if we see a return of record-breaking conditions like those in 2011.”

ERCOT asks customers to use power wisely, especially during peak demand between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., and recommends a thermostat setting of 78 degrees during the summer.

ERCOT also advises installing a programmable thermostat and avoid operating large appliances during peak demand hours. Go to www.powertosavetexas.org for more power conservation tips.