Heat prompts ERCOT to declare energy conservation emergency

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The electric grid operator for most of Texas has declared an energy conservation emergency as temperatures approached or exceeded 100 degrees (38 Celsius).

The Energy Reliability Council of Texas appealed Thursday to electric power consumers, for the second time this week, to limit and reduce their usage during the peak demand hours of 3 to 7 p.m. Thursday after reserve capacity fell below 2,300 megawatts.

No rotating power outages were immediately reported.

ERCOT suggests raising thermostat settings by 2 to 3 degrees, setting pool pumps to shut off from 4 to 6 p.m., unplugging nonessential lights and appliances and not using large appliances such as ovens and washing machines during the peak hours.

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A megawatt is about enough electricity to power roughly 200 homes running air conditioners during hot weather.