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ERCOT asks Texans to limit energy use on Monday

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Posted at 6:52 PM, Jul 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-11 22:02:53-04

WACO, Texas — ERCOT asked Texans to limit their energy usage on Monday from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. because it tends to be the hottest time of the day and when demand is the highest.

They say a few simple steps can help prevent overwhelming the grid but as temperatures continue to break records, it's proving hard to convince people to do it.

"I feel that they should prepare for this - being engineers and stuff like that," Bellmead resident Terrell Collins said. "It's normal, it's Texas. We're used to Texas heat."

Collins said it's too hot to not have air conditioning and ERCOT should be prepared for this.

"I keep it on 60 and on at all times," he said. "It's been like 110 on a normal record, so yeah 60 at all times."

Despite requests from ERCOT to cut back on power use, Collins is not alone when it comes to keeping his air low.

"It's too hot," Waco resident Jessica Gayle said. "I keep it on like 74, when I go to sleep it's like 72 though."

In order to help supply meet demand, ERCOT asked people to turn the thermostat up to a minimum of 78 degrees, unplug devices that aren't being used, turn off pool pumps, and hold off on running washing machines or dishwashers until later in the day.

"ERCOT has been working really hard to make sure we've got excess capacity available to meet whatever load conditions we have," ERCOT's Bill Flores said. "It's incumbent on Texans to behave carefully and responsibly so we don't contribute to any kind of hiccup."

If demand doesn't stay below supply levels, the state could face rolling blackouts. ERCOT said they are doing all they can to prevent those from happening.

"We've got another gigawatt of reserve for emergency response service we can pull if we need to add capacity," Flores said. "So we do have a little bit extra, but it will be tight."

Flores said they do not expect another statewide grid failure like the one seen in February 2021.

"I'm not nervous," he said. "I would say we all oughta be calm and carry on, but carry on in a responsible manner."