AUSTIN (KXAN) - It's time to start planning for high temperatures and possible power outages.
The start of another hot summer and expected spikes in electricity demand has the Electric Reliability Council of Texas advising the state's businesses and residents to conserve energy.
ERCOT is responsible for overseeing the state's electricity grid and meeting the demands of 23 million Texas customers – 85 percent of the state's population.
Chris Coleman, an ERCOT meteorologist, said that this summer will be similar to last year's, which would make it the 14th hottest summer on record.
With hotter-than-normal weather predicted, an extended drought and less than 50 percent of normal chances for rain, the majority of the state's electricity consumers could be faced with rotating power outages, Coleman said.
Some conservation tips for this summer:
- Turn off all unnecessary lights, appliances and electronic equipment.
- When at home, close blinds and drapes that get direct sun and set air conditioning thermostats at 78 degrees or higher.
- When away from home, set thermostats to 85 degrees and turn off all fans before you leave.
- Do not use your dishwasher, laundry equipment, hair dryers, coffee maker or other home appliances during the peak hours of 3 p.m. 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.
- Delay chores that require electricity-consuming appliances until later in the evening.
ERCOT CEO Trip Doggett said there is a high chance they will need area residents and businesses to start conserving energy. When they do, ERCOT will let them know via a variety of methods, he said.
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