ERCOT asks Texans to reduce electricity use

A man pushes an empty stroller on a snow covered street in Dallas, Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014. A light snow made the morning commute difficult for a metropolitan area not accustomed to winter precipitation. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
A man pushes an empty stroller on a snow covered street in Dallas, Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014. A light snow made the morning commute difficult for a metropolitan area not accustomed to winter precipitation. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

DALLAS (AP) — The manager of the electric grid serving most of Texas says extreme cold is driving a dramatic increase in electricity demand.

The electric Reliability Council of Texas is asking Texans to reduce their use of electricity through noon Friday. Officials say the electric demand is going up with the freezing weather. This could become a problem because it can put a strain on the state’s grid.

An ERCOT statement recommends avoiding the use of large appliances such as washing machines, clothes dryers and electric ovens between 6 and 9 a.m. and 4 and 8 p.m. Turn off lights and appliances not in use and keep thermostats set as low as is comfortable, preferably no higher than 68 degrees.

ERCOT says demand Thursday morning topped 57,000 megawatts and could overtake its record of 57,277 megawatts before the cold wave eases.

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