Greg Abbott’s unfixed electric grid seems to be sputtering as demand for electricity will be going over its peak today to the point where rolling blackouts may occur. Sunday’s record heat broke records all over Texas.
With a punishing heat wave across Texas driving record high power demand, The Electric Reliability Council of Texas late Sunday sent out a request that Texans cut back on their energy use on Monday.
ERCOT, the state’s power grid operator, asked Texans to turn up their thermostats and postpone running major appliances between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Monday. ERCOT has also called on large electric customers to lower their electricity use.
Total forecasted power demand is expected to surpass 79 gigawatts on Monday, ERCOT said — which would set another record.
Also, ERCOT tells us that “no system wide outages” are expected. That doesn’t mean it won’t go down in certain areas.
While ERCOT is asking big electric users (corporations, manufacturers) to bring down their electric use, I’m pretty sure the rest of us will get the blame if there are blackouts. So, what to do to conserve?
- Set your thermostat at 78°F or higher – every degree of extra cooling will increase energy usage six to eight percent.
- Use ceiling fans and portable fans to circulate the cool air.
- Install patio covers, awnings, and solar window screens to shade your home from the sun. Shade south and west windows with plants or trees to block the heat during the summer.
- Close interior blinds, drapes, or shades to block the sun and heat during warm weather.
- Use a clothesline instead of a clothes dryer.
- Outside air conditioning units, or condensers, should be shaded.
- On warm days raise your thermostat to 80°F or higher if leaving for more than four hours.
- Setting your thermostat to a lower temperature than normal will not cool your home faster.
- Try to save heat and humidity-generating activities (cooking, laundering, and dishwashing) for early morning or evening hours.
Also, get your generators (if you have one) and small chargers ready! And DO NOT forget about the elderly and infirm.
Needless to say, I woke up early today and put some clothes in the washer to get it done early. You’d be surprised how a dryer will heat up an apartment! I usually put my A/C at 78, so if the “E” goes out, it’s not my fault, people! My apartment management will throw me out if I put up a clothesline. The blinds are always closed during hot days. And I have ceiling fans and oscillating fans going all day in the living room.
Also, mask-up! COVID-19 is still out there and the numbers keep growing. Better to stay away from the heat and the people.