ERCOT warns of over consumption of power this summer

ERCOT warns of over consumption of power this summer

TYLER (KYTX) - Summer has just begun and we haven't seen the hottest temperatures just yet.

But the Electric Reliability Council of Texas has already warned we're reaching peak usage.

Maxing out power use could mean rolling black outs which temporarily cut off power, or rolling brown outs which temporarily reduce power.

That's why ONCOR is asking you to conserve now, unplug appliances during the day and turn up the a-c to help save overall.

Kim Zemer does what she can to conserve -- from added insulation, to changing filters.

"I unplug the microwave and alarm clock, things like that during the day," says Zemer.

She has extra insulation in the attic, even under the sink.

"I grew up turning the lights off when I left the room, my mom taught me that well. I turn the a/c up when I leave," says Zemer.

But the problem comes down to statewide numbers, how many people are plugging in during the day.

"Without new generation and because the state's growing, any kind of hot summer, we're going to have some conservation issues," says Charles Hill with ONCOR.

He says it doesn't appear East Texas will face rolling brown outs yet, but we're at the mercy of the weather.

"We plan for these kinds of outage situations year round with computer models and that sort of thing," says Hill.

And with more people, and no growth in production, it means we all have to look out for what we use.

"It would be great if we could all conserve and can totally avoid black outs and brown outs and it wont' hurt if we all keep our bills lower either," says Zemer.

There are no set usage numbers for one part of the state to another.

ERCOT has seen 60-,000 mega-watts used already this week, the total number is around 64,000.

When we get close enough, we start seeing heavier conservation like brown outs.

ERCOT predicts we could hit 63,000 megwatts this week.

The record for ERCOT energy consumption was in august of 2011, with usage for the day topping 68,000 megawatts.


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