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July 30, 2015

July demand records continue, ERCOT requests for conservation during today’s peak electricity usage hours

Bryan, Texas – BTU is asking local residents to conserve energy during today’s peak usage hours, 3 – 7 p.m., a request that came from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).

“While BTU does not foresee any weather related problems, ERCOT is requesting conservation because of the very hot temperatures that are expected today,” said David Werley, BTU Group Manager of Business and Customer Operations.

ERCOT, grid operator for most of Texas, is asking electric consumers to limit or reduce electric use where possible during the 3-7 p.m. peak demand hours today.

Electric demand this week has reached three consecutive July records, breaking 67,000 megawatts (MW) for the first time since 2011 on Wednesday, July 29, when demand stayed above 67,000 MW for three consecutive hours, peaking at 67,590 MW during the hour ending at 5 p.m.

“Although we have been able to keep up with these July records this week, we currently project somewhat higher demand during today’s peak hours,” said Dan Woodfin, ERCOT director of System Operations. “”Some additional plants have experienced unplanned outages, and we are expecting less wind generation during today’s peak.”

Consumers can help ensure the system is able to continue serving current power needs by taking the following steps to reduce demand on the system during the 3-7 p.m. peak demand hours:
Turn off all unnecessary lights, appliances and electronic equipment.
When at home, close blinds and drapes that get direct sun, set air conditioning thermostats to 78 degrees or higher, and use fans to cool the air.
When away from home, set air conditioning thermostats to 85 degrees and turn all fans off before you leave. Block the sun by closing blinds or drapes on windows that will get direct sun.
Do not use your dishwasher, laundry equipment, hair dryers, coffeemakers, or other home appliances during the peak hours of 3 to 7 p.m.
Avoid opening refrigerators or freezers more than necessary.
Use microwaves for cooking instead of an electric range or oven.
Set your pool pump to run in the early morning or late evening, not during peak demand hours.

“This is a precautionary measure to help ensure we can maintain overall reliability during this high-demand period,” said Woodfin. “Voluntary conservation, especially during the late afternoon and early evening hours, can help us ensure reliability throughout the ERCOT grid.”

For more ways to conserve energy, click here.

For more information contact:
Gina Florence, City of Bryan Communications and Marketing at 979-209-5141 or Elisabeth Thompson, BTU Energy Accounts Manager at 979-229-1622.

Posted in: Press Releases