Operators of the state’s electric grid have urged conservation after freezing, icy weather led to power outages and forced some North Texas schools to call off classes.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is asking customers to continue limiting their electric use as much as possible through 9 a.m. Tuesday, March 4, as late winter weather conditions continue.
Power demand at ERCOT has exceeded previous March record of 43,033 MW every hour since 5 p.m. Sunday, March 2.
Oncor reported about 7,600 homes and businesses without electricity on Monday, mainly in the Tyler and Dallas-Fort Worth areas.
The Dallas Independent School District canceled classes Monday and cited safety concerns for students and staff due to icy roads. The Denton and Arlington districts also called off school due to inclement weather.
Consumers can help ensure the system is able to continue serving current power needs by taking the following steps to reduce demand Monday morning:
- Keep your thermostat as low as is comfortable, preferably no higher than 68 degrees.
- Turn off and unplug non-essential lights and appliances.
- Avoid running large appliances, such as washers, dryers and electric ovens.
- Close shades and blinds at night to reduce the amount of heat lost through windows.
- Large consumers of electricity should consider shutting down or reducing non-essential production processes.
- Businesses should minimize the use of electric lighting and electricity-consuming equipment as much as possible.