News Release

    October 03, 2016

    Valley-area consumers asked to limit peak hour electricity use through Tuesday

    AUSTIN, TX, Oct. 3 – ERCOT, the grid operator for most of Texas, is asking electric consumers in the Lower Rio Grande Valley area to limit or reduce electric use where possible through Tuesday, especially during the 3-7 p.m. peak demand hours.

    "With some unplanned electric generation outages, combined with high temperatures in the region, we expect tight conditions during peak demand hours over the next few days," said Dan Woodfin, ERCOT director of System Operations. "Although recent improvements have increased transmission import capacity to the Valley, the removal of the Frontera generation facility by its owners from the ERCOT system has reduced our capacity to serve Valley-area demand during these types of conditions."

    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 thermostat up 2-3 degrees during the peak hours of 3 to 7 p.m.
    • Set programmable thermostats to higher temperatures when no one is home.
    • If home, use fans to feel 4-6 degrees cooler.
    • Schedule pool pumps to run in early morning or overnight hours; shut off from 4 to 6 p.m.
    • Limit use of large appliances (dishwasher, washer, dryer, etc.) to morning or after 7 p.m.
    • If you cook indoors from 3 to 7 p.m., use a microwave or slow cooker.
    • Close blinds and drapes during late afternoon.

    "We believe these voluntary actions by consumers can help limit the need for further action, such as rotating outages, to maintain overall reliability in the Valley," said Woodfin.

    This conservation request is limited to the Lower Rio Grande Valley. The ERCOT grid is not experiencing any systemwide issues at this time.

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    The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) manages the flow of electric power to 24 million Texas customers -- representing about 90 percent of the state’s electric load. As the independent system operator for the region, ERCOT schedules power on an electric grid that connects more than 46,500 miles of transmission lines and 570+ generation units. It also performs financial settlement for the competitive wholesale bulk-power market and administers retail switching for 7 million premises in competitive choice areas. ERCOT is a membership-based 501(c)(4) nonprofit corporation, governed by a board of directors and subject to oversight by the Public Utility Commission of Texas and the Texas Legislature. Its members include consumers, cooperatives, generators, power marketers, retail electric providers, investor-owned electric utilities, transmission and distribution providers and municipally owned electric utilities.

    Contact
    Robbie Searcy (512) 225-7213
    rsearcy@ercot.com