Record Power Usage Predicted for the Summer of 2018

Temperatures pushing triple digits in mid-May could mean higher electricity bills this summer, the people who run the state's electric grid tell News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

Warren Lasher of the Energy Reliability Council of Texas says indications are that we could face a hotter than normal summer, and, when combined with population growth and the strong economy, which means more workplaces running more hours and using more air conditioning, we could stretch the states' power generation capacity to the max.

"Our expectation is, we will reach a new record peak demand this summer," he said.

And that could mean higher electric bills, because producing peak power is more expensive than normal power production, because it relies on systems which are seldom used.

But Lasher says, despite the retirement of several high profile coal-fired power plants, ERCOT is not expecting blackouts this summer.

"Our expectation also is that we will have adequate resources in order to meet those demands."

He says new power generation facilities, including the use of renewables like wind and solar, will more than make up for the decommissioned power plants.

But officials also say there could be a strain on the system during the heat of the afternoon these summer, so paying attention to those advisories not use high load appliances, like clothes driers, in the mid and late afternoon will help keep those summer power bills down.

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