As forecast temperatures surpass 90 degrees Fahrenheit May 8, Texas’ power grid operator is expecting high demand for electricity.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas issued a “weather watch” for May 8 to alert residents of the “unseasonably high temperatures” and increased demand on the grid. This is not a call for conservation.

What you need to know

Grid conditions are normal during a weather watch.

High temperatures, planned outages for maintenance on power facilities and potentially low power reserves could cause tighter grid conditions. However, officials do not anticipate an emergency, according to a news release.

“ERCOT continues to monitor conditions closely and will deploy all available tools to manage the grid, continuing a reliability-first approach to operations,” the release said.

The tightest period will likely be around 9 p.m. May 8, with 64,389 megawatts of electric demand and 65,486 megawatts of supply, according to ERCOT’s website.

Also of note

When the power supply gets low, ERCOT may ask Texans to voluntarily conserve energy during a set time period. Voluntary conservation notices are typically issued in the evening, when more people are home and using electricity.

Officials requested voluntary conservation several times last summer. Texas’ hottest year on record was 2023, and scientists say an increased frequency of 100-degree days and longer wildfire seasons are on the horizon.

The background

ERCOT began issuing weather watches last May in an effort to “[keep] Texans informed earlier” ahead of severe temperatures.

The power grid operator faces continued skepticism from Texans in the years after February 2021’s Winter Storm Uri, the dayslong freeze that killed hundreds of people and left millions without power or water.