AUSTIN (KXAN) - The outdoor temperature reached a blistering 112 degrees just before 2:30 p.m. in Austin on Sunday, which tied the record for the hottest day ever in the city.
The relentless heat also also fueled record demand for electricity as Texans across the state cranked up their air conditioners in an effort to stay cool.
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The manager for most of the state's electric grid said Sunday that record demand has taxed the generation capacity to its limits causing a "vital need for conservation" at least until Tuesday.
"As we expected, this weekend's temperatures and electricity usage have
been record-breaking," said Theresa Gage of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas .
Reaching the 112-degree mark matches Sept. 5, 2000, as the hottest day ever in Austin. And Sunday was the 73rd day of 100-degree-plus weather for the year.
Last week, the 86-year-old record of 69 days of 100 degrees or more was topped. Each day the temperature tops the century mark this year is a new record.
Gage said ERCOT, which manages the grid for about 85 percent of Texas, set a new record on Saturday for peak weekend usage. That record will likely be short-lived, she added.
"Monday and Tuesday are going to propose a particular challenge to the ERCOT grid," Gage said. "It's possible that temperatures will be even higher than we've seen this weekend.
"It's likely that we'll hit a new all-time peak demand record on Monday or -time peak demand record on Monday or Tuesday," she added.
"If every person in ERCOT does a little (to conserve power), it makes a huge difference."
- Turn off all unnecessary lights, appliances, and electronic equipment.
- When at home, close blinds and drapes that get direct sun, set air conditioning thermostats to 78 degrees or higher, and use fans in occupied rooms to feel cooler.
- When away from home, set air conditioning thermostats to 85 degrees and turn all fans off before you leave. Block the sun by closing blinds or drapes on windows that will get direct sun.
- Do not use your dishwasher, laundry equipment, hair dryers, coffee makers, or other home appliances during the peak hours of 3 to 7 p.m.
- Avoid opening refrigerators or freezers more than necessary.
- Use microwaves for cooking instead of an electric range or oven.
- Set your pool pump to run in the early morning or evening instead of the afternoon.
Businesses should minimize the use of electric lighting and electricity-consuming equipment as much as possible. Large consumers of electricity should consider shutting down or reducing non-essential production processes.
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