Texans are now being asked to cut power usage amid a price surge. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) recently issued a “Voluntary Conservation Notice” because it was expecting extreme temperatures, having issued an ERCOT on Aug. 12, 2023, as reported by the Post Millennial.
On X, formerly known as Twitter, ERCOT released a statement, saying, that “due to extreme temperatures, forecasted high demand & lower reserves due to low wind generation. Texans are asked to voluntarily reduce electric use, if safe to do so.”
(1/2) TXANS Update—8/17/23: ERCOT has issued a Voluntary Conservation Notice for 3 – 8 p.m. today, Aug. 17, due to extreme temperatures, forecasted high demand, & lower reserves due to low wind generation. Texans are asked to voluntarily reduce electric use, if safe to do so. pic.twitter.com/nw93lbvaJ3
— ERCOT (@ERCOT_ISO) August 17, 2023
Occasionally, ERCOT provides energy saving tips on its website. “During summer, Raise your thermostat by a degree or two, avoid using large appliances, turn off and unplug non-essential lights and appliances, and set pool pumps to run early morning or overnight,” it states.
ERCOT labels a voluntary notice as its level three of four with an “Energy Emergency Alert,” marking the highest risk where it may have to use controlled outages to take on extremely low energy reserves, as reported by the Post Millennial.
A Voluntary Conservation Notice is a call for residents of Texas to voluntarily reduce their consumption of energy during peak demand, according to ERCOT.
The company said it issues a “Weather watch” alert to predict for three-five days “possible higher demand due to forecasted conditions.”
In June 2023, ERCOT similarly asked Texans to limit their energy usage as the state dealt with its first major heatwave, as reported by Reuters. The state’s grid operator suggested residents set their thermostats to 78 degrees or higher, and avoid using ovens, washing machines, as well as dryers to lower demand during peak time, according to Click 2 Houston.
CBS noted that wind power accounts for 24% of all electricity production in Texas and has recently been a concern for its lack of generating power to keep up during peak times.
In June 2023, UT Dallas’ Wind Energy Center Dr. Todd Griffith, said, “On days when the wind is a bit lower we need to compensate for that with these other sources…namely, natural gas and coal sources and nuclear.” Texas currently has around 15,000 wind turbines, more than any other state in the U.S.
EROCT ended its weather watch on Aug. 18, 2023, and thanked residents and businesses for their cooperation in getting through the peak time.