Electric council issues conservation appeal; potential for rotating outages

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For the second time in two days the Electric Reliability Council of Texas has issued an Energy Emergency Alert Level 1 asking consumers and businesses to reduce their electricity usage.

Due to high temperatures in the New Braunfels area and other parts of the state, the Texas electric grid is experiencing record demand, and ERCOT asks that consumers lower their energy consumption, particularly during peak hours from 3 to 7 p.m.

ERCOT is tasked with maintaining reliability of the Texas electric grid and balancing the generation and load on the grid at all times. The lower the generation reserves become, the more strain that is ultimately put on the grid.

ERCOT issues EEAs during periods when the demand on the grid is particularly high and reserve power remains low. Rotating outages are not likely in an EEA Level 1 scenario, unless high demand on the grid persists.

Actions consumers can take to reduce their electricity consumption include:

-Adjusting the thermostat to a higher temperature when not home
-Use ceiling fans to cool an area by 4-6 degrees
-Close blinds and drapes in the afternoon
-Limit the use of large appliances and electronics
-Shut off pool pumps between 4 and 6 p.m.

Consumers can keep track of ERCOT’s daily peak demand, current load and available generation through the ERCOT website, www.ercot.com. Local utility New Braunfels Utilities will also provide information at www.nbutexas.com or via the NBU Facebook page, according to a company news release.

If and when ERCOT calls for emergency operations that lead to rotating outages, NBU will keep customers informed on when and how long they may be affected as the situation progresses, the release said. Customers can text “NBU” to 85700 to enroll in the Texting Outage Notification System and receive updates regarding outages or call 830-629-8400.

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