Powering Strong Communities

Texas Grid Operator Asks for Voluntary Reduction of Electricity Use

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas on June 20 asked state residents to voluntarily reduce electricity use, if safe to do so, due to extreme temperatures and forecasted record demand.

The voluntary conservation notice is in effect Tuesday, June 20 from 4 p.m.–8 p.m. CT, the grid operator said.

The notice is part of ERCOT’s Texas Advisory and Notification System, alerting the public of grid conditions. Last week, ERCOT issued a Weather Watch from June 15–June 21 due to increased temperature and high demand.

“ERCOT is requesting all government agencies (including city and county offices) to implement all programs to reduce energy use at their facilities,” it said.

ERCOT is not experiencing emergency conditions. “Voluntary conservation is a widely used industry tool that can help lower demand for a specific period of peak demand time, which is typically late afternoon into the evening hours,” it said.

On June 19, ERCOT broke the June peak demand record, unofficially, with 79,304 MW, passing last June’s record of 76,718 MW.

Last summer, ERCOT set 11 new peak demand records. The current all-time record of 80,148 MW was set on July 20, 2022.

ERCOT said it is using additional tools to manage the grid reliably, including using reserve power, calling upon reductions by large electric customers that have volunteered to lower their energy use, and bringing more generation online sooner.