ERCOT announces conservation alert, asks demand decrease

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Managers of the state’s biggest electrical grid have downgraded an energy emergency to a conservation alert.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas is appealing for electricity consumers to cut their demand during Thursday afternoon peak demand hours of 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

In a statement Thursday, ERCOT says several generation unit outages occurred Thursday despite more moderate temperatures and power demands. It’s asking customers during peak demand hours to turn thermostats up by 2 to 3 degrees, close drapes and curtains, shut off pool pumps, limit large appliance use and cook with microwave ovens or slow cookers.

ERCOT, which operates the grid that covers most of the state, had initially announced an energy emergency that would cause outages for some customers. It later said the announcement was erroneous.