With record-setting temperatures blanketing most states every day, electric grids are being pushed up to capacity. ERCOT, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas is asking consumers and businesses to reduce their electricity use during peak electricity hours from 3 to 7 p.m. every day to avert the need for rotating blackouts. Bob Loth, CEO of Central Texas Electric Cooperative said, “Our co-op members can help by shutting off unnecessary lights and electrical appliances, minimizing the use of air conditioning and delaying laundry and other activities requiring electricity-consuming appliances until later in the evening. With weather forecasters predicting daily highs over 100 degrees for the next several days, we encourage everyone to conserve voluntarily to avoid the need for rolling blackouts.”Rolling Blackouts are controlled, temporary interruptions of electrical service initiated by each utility when supplies of reserve power are exhausted. Without this safety valve, generators would overload and begin shutting down to avoid damage, risking a domino effect of a region-wide outage.The outages are typically limited to 15-45 minutes before being rotated to a different neighborhood. Some customers may experience longer outages if power surges cause equipment failure during the restoration process. Customers can minimize power surges by turning off appliances, lights and other equipment, except for one task light to determine when power has been restored.
Additional Conservation Tips from CTEC· Turn off all unnecessary lights, appliances, and electronic equipment. · When at home, close blinds and drapes that get direct sun, set air conditioning thermostats to 78 degrees or higher, and use fans to cool the air in occupied rooms. · When away from home for several hours, set air conditioning thermostats above 80 degrees and turn all fans off before you leave. Block the sun by closing blinds or drapes on windows that will get direct sun. · Do not use your dishwasher, laundry equipment, hair dryers, coffee makers, or other home appliances during the peak hours of 3 to 7 p.m. · Avoid opening refrigerators or freezers more than necessary. · Use microwaves for cooking instead of an electric range or oven. · Set your pool pump to run in the early morning or evening instead of the afternoon. · Delay laundry and other activities requiring electricity consuming appliances until later in the evening. 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.