News Release
June 22, 2012

ERCOT prepares for first summer heat wave of 2012

AUSTIN, TX, June 22, 2012 -- With temperatures expected to hit triple digits several days next week, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the electric grid operator for most of Texas, is looking closely at anticipated electric use and available electric generation.

Peak electric demand is expected to exceed 65,000 megawatts (MW) on Monday and Tuesday, and ERCOT expects to have adequate electric generation resources available to serve that load without issuing an Energy Emergency Alert. This takes into account current outages and the possibility of losing additional resources in the first heat wave of summer. For perspective, one MW is enough power to serve about 200 homes during peak demand, and ERCOT's record peak was 68,379 MW on Aug. 3, 2011.

ERCOT will use a variety of channels to keep the public informed throughout the summer. ERCOT Energy Saver, a new mobile app now available for Apple and Android devices, will provide real-time alerts when conservation is most critical in the ERCOT region. Users of the free app need to enable push notifications to receive these messages. ERCOT also will provide information through the news media, Facebook, Twitter and ERCOT’s new subscription-based EmergencyAlerts list (http://lists.ercot.com).

ERCOT will update the assessment for the remainder of next week based on updated forecasts early in the week and will provide updates as needed, especially if actual energy use or loss of generation through unplanned outages exceeds current expectations.

Although ERCOT anticipates sufficient electric generation to meet this early summer heat wave, consumers are urged to conserve, especially between the hours of 3 and 7 pm.

Some steps everyone can take to reduce demand on the grid during these peak demand hours include the following:

  • Turn your thermostat up by two or three degrees in the late afternoon.
  • If you will be away from home throughout the day, turn your thermostat up before leaving home in the morning.
  • Set pool pumps to run late at night or early in the morning.
  • Avoid using large appliances, especially hot stoves and clothes dryers, during the peak.

For more conservation tips, download the ERCOT Energy Saver app or visit the Public Utility Commission of Texas website.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) manages the flow of electric power to 24 million Texas customers -- representing 85 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 41,500 miles of transmission lines and 550 generation units. ERCOT also performs financial settlement for the competitive wholesale bulk-power market and administers retail switching for 6.7 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. ERCOT's members include consumers, cooperatives, generators, power marketers, retail electric providers, investor-owned electric utilities (transmission and distribution providers), and municipal-owned electric utilities.

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