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Texas grid is expected to reach record breaking peak

By: Maegan Prejean |

August has dropped some serious heat on East Texas so far. The Texas power grid is expected to reach a record breaking peak Tuesday and that means using more energy to stay cool. ERCOT estimates we could break the record for daily energy use on Tuesday. Electric companies are hoping you can help conserve enough energy in East Texas so residents can keep their electricity on.

Triple digit weather always affects the amount of electricity we use. Over the next few days, East Texans will want to get the most use out of their air conditioning. If we conserve energy today, there can be more for tomorrow.

“The majority of the electricity is used between four and seven o’clock during the day, so we’re looking for our consumers to help us,” said ONCOR Lufkin area manager Grady Cashion. “Residential consumers are usually the ones that use the majority of the electricity during that time of the day.”

Electric companies said using too much energy during this expected record breaking peak could cause thousands to be without electricity.

“ERCOT will make the decision over the overloading. If we’re getting to a certain point, they will try not to allow us to ever get to that point. They may ask us to do brown outs and black outs,” Cashion said.

Consumers are asked to help take care of the power grid by making conservation a number one priority.

“Even moving their thermostat a degree or two can help that load situation. Now, we do recommend 78 degrees or higher during the summer,” Cashion said. “If we can get 40, 50, 60 percent of them to do that, then that’s great. They’re looking at the opportunity to save money by energy conservation and help the grid by energy conservation to make a difference.”

Even the use of a ceiling fan can make the difference.

August of 2011 was the last time the electricity peak was reached. More than 68 thousand megawatts of electricity were used by consumers in the state.