ERCOT asks Texas residents to reduce their electricity consumption through the end of the week amid record electricity consumption in June

AUSTIN (KSLA) – The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is asking residents to reduce their electricity use as much as possible through the end of the week (June 18) as a significant number of generation outages, combined with record power consumption so far in June, caused strained grid conditions.

ERCOT says generator owners have reported that around 11,000 mw of output is on forced shutdown for repair. Of this, about 8,000 mw is thermal; the rest is made up of intermittent resources. According to the Summer Resource Adequacy Seasonal Assessment, a typical range of thermal generation interruptions during hot summer days is approximately 3,600 mw. One MW typically powers around 2,000 homes on a hot day.

“We will be conducting a thorough analysis with generation owners to determine why so many units are out of service,” said Woody Rickerson, ERCOT’s vice president of network planning and operations. “It’s unusual for this start of the summer season.”

Build owners say the number of outages should decrease throughout the week. Wind generation on Monday, June 14 should be 3,500 to 6,000 mw between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m.; that’s about 1,500 mw less than typical for peak conditions. Wind generation is expected to increase as the week progresses.

The company expects record energy consumption. ERCOT says Monday’s peak forecast could exceed 73,000 mw. The peak consumption record in June is 69,123 mw set back on June 27, 2018 between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Texas residents are urged by ERCOT to save electricity through June 18, 2021.(ERCOT)

KSLA’s First Alert Weather Team is reporting temperatures felt in the triple digits in the ArkLaTex. However, increasing the air conditioning is not advised.

“The smaller the difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be,” says the US Department of Energy.

Residents are encouraged to take these steps to reduce their energy consumption:

  • Set your thermostat to 78° or higher – each degree of cooling increases your energy consumption by 6-8%
  • Turn off pool lights and pumps and avoid using large appliances like ovens, washing machines and dryers
  • If you don’t need something – we ask that you turn it off and unplug it if possible

Click here to learn more ways to save electricity. To view daily peak demand forecast, current load and available generation, Click here.

The Better Business Bureau also offers the following tips to ensure your AC is summer-ready:

  • Have the right equipment properly installed – Replacing old equipment is a great way to save energy and money. To reach its full potential, a system must be the right size for your home and installed correctly. Improper installation or sizing can significantly reduce the efficiency of your system.
  • Check your thermostat settings – Want the best of both worlds? Why not try installing a modern smart thermostat. Installing a smart thermostat is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to save energy when you’re away, while keeping you comfortable when you’re home. It will automatically adjust the temperature of your home according to the needs of your schedule. You also have the option of using it directly from your smartphone.
  • Change filters regularly – Inspect the air filter every month and replace it if necessary. If it looks dirty after a month, change it to improve air quality and efficiency.
  • Check the area surrounding your outdoor unit – Remove leaves and debris from around your system, trim nearby bushes, and clean leaves or dirt from the top of the AC unit to improve airflow
  • Seal the ducts well – Unsealed ducts routed through unconditioned spaces such as attics and crawl spaces allow heated and cooled air to escape. These leaks ultimately reduce the efficiency of your systems.
  • Listen for unusual noises – Unusual noises are often a sign of potential problems. Sounds like duct bursts can be an indicator of airflow restrictions and high-pitched squealing or squealing noises can indicate failing motor bearings. It’s rare for these strange noises to go away, but if you’re aware of them, you can often avoid being without air conditioning when you need it most.
  • Check for standing water and condensation– Standing water near the indoor unit or excessive condensation buildup on the duct may indicate a clogged condensate drain or worse, it could be from ice buildup due to an airflow problem or to a refrigerant leak. Catching it early can prevent damage to other components.
  • Check high and low voltage wiring to outdoor units – It is common to find areas where a mouse or chipmunk has chewed on the electrical wires controlling the outdoor unit
  • Keep vents and registers clear – Airflow problems can reduce the efficiency of your system. Keep registers and vents away from furniture and other items that may restrict airflow.

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