News Release

April 07, 2020

ERCOT releases COVID-19 load impact analysis

AUSTIN, TX, April 7, 2020 – Beginning today, ERCOT will provide weekly updates regarding load pattern changes due to COVID-19 in the ERCOT region. Updates will be available on the Trending Topics page of the ERCOT website in the Presentations & Other section.

ERCOT began monitoring load impacts directly related to COVID-19 during the week of March 8. While there has been little impact to ERCOT’s daily peaks, the morning load has remained consistently lower between the hours of 6 and 10 a.m. The morning loads are currently six to 10 percent lower than what the forecast model would typically predict after accounting for normal model errors.

"The overall load reduction for the ERCOT region has leveled off over the past two weeks," said ERCOT Manager of Load Forecasting and Analysis Calvin Opheim. "Based on the data analyzed from the weeks of March 22 and 29, weekly energy use is down by approximately two percent."

Any changes to the summer peak load forecast will be announced in mid-May when ERCOT releases its final summer Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy and the Capacity, Demand and Reserves Report. A specific release date has not yet been set.

In addition to monitoring load patterns, ERCOT has taken several measures to help protect its staff during this time. Those steps are outlined in a pandemic planning actions document, which is also available on the Trending Topics page of the ERCOT website.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) manages the flow of electric power to more than 26 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 650+ 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.