Rolling power outages are underway in Texas in an effort to conserve power during the winter storm. ERCOT, which operates the Texas grid, has declared a level three emergency due to a record-high amount of usage. State officials are urging Texans to conserve energy as much as possible to reduce strain on the system.
"We are experiencing record-breaking electric demand due to the extreme cold temperatures that have gripped Texas," said ERCOT President and CEO Bill Magness. "At the same time, we are dealing with higher-than-normal generation outages due to frozen wind turbines and limited natural gas supplies available to generating units. We are asking Texans to take some simple, safe steps to lower their energy use during this time."
Here are some tips to reduce electricity use:
- Turn down thermostats to 68-degrees.
- Close shades and blinds to reduce the amount of heat lost through windows.
- Turn off and unplug non-essential lights and appliances.
- Avoid using large appliances (i.e., ovens, washing machines, etc.).
- 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.
Given the prolonged, below-freezing temperatures, conservation measures should be implemented safely and within reason.
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