With another day of heat in the forecast across the state, ERCOT is asking Texans to voluntarily reduce their electricity use Tuesday afternoon, if it’s safe, because of extreme temperatures and the expectation of another day of power demand.
ERCOT’s Voluntary Safety Notice will be in effect on Tuesday, June 20 from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The agency said they are not an emergency situation and that voluntary protection is a widely used tool to help reduce demand during peak usage — typically the hottest part of the afternoon and evening.
“The Voluntary Safety Notice is part of ERCOT’s Texas Advisory and Notification System (TXANS), which alerts the public to grid conditions,” the company said. “ERCOT urges all government agencies, including city and county offices, to implement all plans to reduce energy use in their facilities.”
Last week, ERCOT, the agency that manages the state’s power grid, issued a weather watch for June 15-21, expecting higher demand due to warmer temperatures.
On Monday, Texans used 79,304 megawatts of electricity, beating June’s peak demand record by 3,000 megawatts. Last summer, ERCOT Texans set 11 new peak demand records. The current all-time record is 80,148 MW, set on July 20, 2022.
Following ERCOT’s request Tuesday morning, the Public Utilities Commission of Texas echoed the call for protection and urged Texans to help reduce demand on the grid.
ERCOT said Tuesday it will use additional tools to manage the grid reliably, including using reserve power, calling for reductions from large electric customers who have volunteered to reduce their energy use and bringing more generation online sooner.
Energy saving tips can be found here ercot.com/txans.
Why reduce usage?
• Overheating. Much of Texas is seeing very high temperatures for a long period of time.
• Registration required. Texas sees record high due to heat
• Thermal barriers. Forced thermal power plant constraints are higher than usual.
• Solar. Solar power production slows down in the evening before going completely offline at sunset.
• Air. Low wind generation compared to historical performance during summer peak.
Map: How much your neighborhood will suffer from extreme heat
People living in dense cities and remote rural areas are most at risk during heat waves, the data show. You can read the full story from NBC News here. Use the map embedded below to find your area.
As summer heats up in North Texas, NBC 5’s Ben Russell talks about how we can keep our electricity bills low.