News Release

June 27, 2011

Power Watch - Conservation Needed

Consumers asked to conserve electricity today from 3-7 pm

ERCOT entered Energy Emergency Alert Level 1 at 3:30 pm when responsive reserves dropped below 2300 MW.  Capacity is expected to be tight over the peak today, and ERCOT operators are closely monitoring the situation.   We do not anticipate additional steps in the emergency procedures unless we experience more generation outages. 

BACKGROUND ON ENERGY EMERGENCY ALERT PROCEDURES

Energy Emergency Alert (EEA) is the detailed, step-by-step procedure, triggered by diminishing reserves, that ERCOT Operations uses to maximize generation resources during grid emergencies.                                 

Level 1 allows ERCOT to bring on uncommitted generation and power from neighboring grids.                               

Level 2 calls for dropping load-resource customers (large industrial/commercial customers who have been paid to accept the risk of interruption – Load Resources) which reduces load by approximately 1,100 MW.   The second part of Level 2 calls for additional interruptible loads in the load-reduction program (Emergency Interruptible Loads) to be dropped if needed to maintain system frequency.                    

At Level 3, ERCOT instructs the utilities to reduce demand on the grid by conducting temporary outages at the local distribution level.   These controlled temporary interruptions of electrical service – or rotating outages – typically last 15-40 minutes before being rotated to a different neighborhood.  

Austin, TX, June 27, 2011 -- Consumers and businesses are asked to reduce their electricity use during peak electricity hours from 3 to 7 p.m. today due to record high temperatures and unexpected generation outages.

“The temperature is hotter than usual for this time of year, and we lost several generation units earlier today,” said Kent Saathoff, vice president of grid operations and system planning.  “Consumers can help by delaying or limiting their electrical energy use until after 7 this evening.”

 CONSERVATION TIPS

  • Limit electricity usage to only that consumption which is absolutely necessary. Turn off all unnecessary lights, appliances, and electronic equipment.
  • Do not use your dishwasher, laundry equipment, hair dryers, coffee makers, pool pump, or other home appliances between the hours of 3 to 7 p.m.
  • Close blinds and drapes on windows that get direct sun, set air conditioning thermostats to 80 degrees, and use fans to circulate the air.
  • Use microwaves or outdoor grills for cooking to avoid heating the home.
  • Businesses should minimize the use of electric lighting and electricity-consuming equipment as much as possible.
  • Large consumers of electricity should consider shutting down or reducing non-essential production processes.

 See more conservation tips at “Powerful Advice,” Public Utility Commission of Texas:

http://www.puc.state.tx.us/agency/conserve/Conserve.aspx

CONSUMER ASSISTANCE

Public Utility Commission Consumer Hotline – 1-888-782-8777

Office of Public Utility Counsel Consumer Assistance – 1-877-839-0363

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) manages the flow of electric power to more than 25 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 600+ generation units. It also performs financial settlement for the competitive wholesale bulk-power market and administers retail switching for nearly 8 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
512-275-7432
media@ercot.com