TYLER (KYTX) - A new report by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, says it's going to be another sizzling hot summer, which could mean usage restrictions.
The report showed that weather conditions will be a lot like last summer which means the amount of electricity available will be pretty tight. The power industry is trying to get the word out so you can start preparing now.
"You really can't bear it when it gets that hot," said Charlene and Eddie Lewis. The East Texas couple is not so excited for another hot summer.
"It's scary because when it gets really hot like it did the summer before last, you really need the electricity to keep cool," Charlene said.
That's why they're paying close attention to ERCOT reports, showing that resources could be scarce by summertime.
Charles Hill with Oncor in Tyler says, "We've seen a short supply or a close supply situation coming for the last couple of years just with no new generation being built, and the state of Texas growing."
Hill says everyone's summer could be a lot easier if we all pitch in.
"When we get into a short supply situation we are always calling on customers to help but at that time it's really usually a very critical situation. What we like to see people do is plan ahead," he said.
There's plenty you can do.
"A lot of people put timers on their water heaters, because the two biggest users in the summer are air conditioning and water heating," Hill said.
Another way you can prepare now for the tough summer ahead is to take a look at your thermostat. Try to get one that has a schedule on it, so if you're out during the day, you're not running up extra electricity, and making the problem even worse.
The Lewis' don't have a scheduled thermostat, but they're retired, so they're never too far from home and are willing keep an eye on the temperature.
"We're home so we can do it ourselves!"
They want to do their part to help the whole state, and hope others will join in.
Hill does expect to have usage warnings again this summer. Those include avoid washing clothes or dishes during peak hours, turn your thermostat up a couple degrees, and turn on those ceiling fans.
ERCOT is working on another assessment as we inch closer to summer. That report will be released in may and should give an even clearer picture of what conditions will be like.