A. Lee Graham
With icy temperatures boosting electricity usage statewide, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas has announced an energy emergency alert and has implemented the first two stages of steps to protect the power grid.
“We have brought on all available electric generation and have deployed all demand response programs that have contracted with ERCOT to reduce electric use in emergency situations,” said Dan Woodfin, the agency’s director of system operations, commenting in a news release.
“Conditions appear to be improving at this time, and we do not expect to implement rotating outages this morning,” Woodfin said in a news release posted at 7:59 a.m. today.
Such outages are temporary interruptions of electrical service initiated by each utility when reserves power supplies are exhausted. They primarily affect residential neighborhoods and small businesses.
Until operating reserves are restored to target levels, the agency said customers can help by keeping thermostat as low as is comfortable, preferably no higher than 68 degrees; turning off and unplugging non-essential lights and appliances; and avoiding running large appliances such as washers, dryers and electric ovens during peak energy demand hours (6-9 a.m. and 4-8 p.m.).