Market Information System Grid and Market Conditions

News Release

July 08, 2009

ERCOT Sets New Record for Electricity Demand

Continued High Electricity Demand Expected Thursday

July 8, 2009 -- The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Inc. (ERCOT), the electric grid operator for most of the state, set a new electricity usage record today.  Consumers used an hourly average of 62,786* megawatts (MW) of power between 4 and 5 p.m., exceeding the previous all-time peak of 62,339 MW set on Aug. 17, 2006 by 447 MW. 

One megawatt typically powers about 200 average homes during hot summer weather. 

High electricity demand is expected tomorrow, so consumers and businesses are encouraged to continue conserving their electric use during peak hours from 3 to 7 p.m. tomorrow. 

Businesses and consumers are encouraged to:

  • Set air conditioning thermostats to 80 degrees or higher.
  • Cool with fans.
  • Close blinds and drapes on windows that get direct sun.
  • Turn off all unnecessary lights, appliances, and electronic equipment.
  • Avoid using big appliances between the hours of 3 to 7 p.m.   

See more conservation tips at “Powerful Advice,” Public Utility Commission of Texas:  

*Note:  The instantaneous record number is based on initial calculations using data from throughout the transmission network.   The number may be adjusted based on official meter data used in the market’s financial settlement process, which is completed six months after the operating day.

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 710+ 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.