Public Utility Commission Renews Call for Electricity Conservation

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Austin –  As high temperatures maintain their grip on Texas and electricity demand remains elevated, the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) renewed its call for Texans to conserve electricity this afternoon.

“Occasional calls for conservation are a natural part of running the most efficient electrical system in the world,” said Commissioner Arthur D’Andrea. “Fortunately, individual Texans can take a few simple steps in their homes and workplaces to decrease demand during this run of hot weather so that Texas can enjoy lower-than-average electricity prices at most other times of the year.”

As temperatures peak in the late afternoon, air conditioning use typically follows suit, causing demand to increase between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. With National Weather Service heat advisories predicting temperatures above 100 degrees for most areas of the state over the next week, Texans are advised to purposefully reduce consumption.

“It has been five years since ERCOT had to issue a similar call to conserve electric usage.  The hot weather has continued throughout the month of August and the Texas economy is strong, so two calls for conservation in the same week is not surprising. This is an opportunity for every Texan to do their part to help,” said DeAnn Walker, Chairman of the PUC. “In the meantime, I am confident that ERCOT has the tools to manage the supply and demand on the electric grid.”

The PUC advises residential and business customers alike to reduce their electricity usage with simple adjustments like bumping air conditioning thermostats up at least two degrees and turning off unnecessary lighting. Customers are also asked to wait until after sunset to run energy-intensive appliances like dishwashers, clothes dryers and pool pumps.

For Texans interested in keeping tabs on the ERCOT grid, an app is available on the Apple Store or Google Play. They can also check the color-coded “Electric Grid Status” section on the right hand side of the PUC’s homepage.

The PUC also maintains a friendly source of low-cost conservation tips and other energy efficiency-related home improvements at www.PowerToSaveTexas.org. Customers interested in comparing marketplace options can visit www.powertochoose.org. Changing providers will not affect electric service reliability, the frequency or duration of outages, or the time it will take to have your electric service restored if an outage occurs.

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