Record power demand as Texoma temps surge - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Record power demand as Texoma temps surge

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Blazing August temperatures mean Texomans are cranking down the thermostats, putting a real strain on the regional power grid.

"We'll have transformers that will fail; we'll have wires that will actually get so hot that they'll burn down," said Oncor area manager Todd Thompson. "We're there to make sure we get that back on."

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas said power demand hit an all-time high of 74,531 megawatts on Monday, and Tuesday's peak usage was expected to be even higher.

The agency issued an Emergency Alert Tuesday afternoon urging consumers to conserve energy whenever possible, especially between the peak hours of 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

"We ask that people in the evening wait to do their laundry until later in the evening," Thompson said. "If they can turn their thermostat up three or four degrees, it would help significantly on the peak if everybody would."

ERCOT suggests taking the following steps to minimize electrical use:

  • set thermostats 2 to 3 degrees higher; even higher if no one is home
  • use fans to feel 4 to 6 degrees cooler
  • set pool pumps to run during the early morning or overnight hours
  • avoid using large appliances like ovens and washing machines

Thompson added that high electrical demand started later than normal this year since we're just now hitting triple-digit temperatures.

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