ERCOT requesting Texans to limit, reduce electric use as winter storm rolls in

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Posted at 1:05 PM, Feb 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-14 14:06:40-05

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the governing body that oversees the electric grid in Texas, is requesting all Texans to limit and reduce their electric use as much as possible Sunday, Feb. 14 through Tuesday, Feb. 16.

The state is currently experiencing record-breaking electric demand due to the extreme cold temperatures and higher-than-normal generation outages due to frozen wind turbines and limited natural gas supplies available to generating units, according to ERCOT.

“While Oncor’s transmission and distribution system is prepared to handle the increased load, requests for conservation are a case of supply and demand – when there may not be enough power generation to meet the high demand for electricity. Therefore, we are echoing ERCOT’s request for conservation and asking all of our customers to please take steps to reduce their energy use today through Tuesday,” said Connie Piloto, Oncor Director of Communications.

“We recognize the challenge of conserving energy during this extremely cold weather, but even a few small changes can help make a difference – such as turning down the thermostat a couple degrees, keeping lights off in empty rooms and unplugging unused appliances around your home.”

"Given the prolonged, below-freezing temperatures, conservation measures should be implemented safely and within reason," ERCOT said.

ERCOT said customers can help by taking the following conservation steps:

· Turn down thermostats to 68-degrees.

· Close shades and blinds to reduce the amount of heat lost through windows.

· Turn off and unplug non-essential lights and appliances.

· Avoid using large appliances (i.e., ovens, washing machines, etc.).

· Businesses should minimize the use of electric lighting and electricity-consuming equipment as much as possible.

· Large consumers of electricity should consider shutting down or reducing non-essential production processes.

A Winter Storm Warning is currently in effect for much of Oncor’s service territory.

Oncor said they will continue to monitor developing weather conditions and has staged personnel and resources across the territory so any necessary restoration work can be begin as quickly and safely as possible.

Customers can report outages through the MyOncor app or by calling 888.313.4747.

"Please continue to keep safety top of mind throughout this weather event: keep off the roads as much as possible, check on neighbors and immediately report downed power lines by calling 911," the statement said.

For more information on energy conservation tips, please visit thewire.oncor.com.