With the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) establishing a new record peak demand for electricity today, United Cooperative Services encourages members of the cooperative and the general public to beat the peak by implementing energy conservation measures during the peak usage hours of 3 p.m.-7 p.m. during the extended heat wave blanketing the North Texas region.

ERCOT set a new all-time systemwide peak demand record Wednesday, reaching 71,438 MW between 3 and 4 p.m. The prior record of 71,110 MW was set on Aug. 11, 2016.

Texans continue to deal with extreme heat across the state as ERCOT and electricity providers are working diligently to ensure they have the power they need to keep cool. ERCOT expects new demand records as summer 2018 continues.

“United’s members and electricity consumers across North Texas experience summer peak times May through October between the hours of 3 p.m.-7 p.m.,” said United CEO Cameron Smallwood. “As we’ve explained to our members since earlier this spring, energy conservation measures are vital to ensuring the integrity of our state electric grid. With generation reserves lower than originally forecasted by ERCOT, we want to make sure we and all of our members do our part to keep things stable.”

Consumers should be aware that the peak energy use periods occur when consumers are getting ready for their day in the morning and when they get home from work during the afternoon and evening.

“Liken it to rush hour traffic, but this time the congestion is on the power grid as consumers get home from work and appliances and HVAC equipment start to be utilized at a significantly higher level than they were only several hours earlier,” Smallwood said. “It’s also very common for wholesale electricity prices to increase during times of higher demand, so everything we do to reduce energy usage can go a long way toward saving on energy costs.”

Electricity consumers can implement a number of summer energy conservation measures that will minimize their usage during peak periods, which benefits them with regards to their bills and benefits the electric grid by relieving some of the demand. Here are some tips on beating the peak:

·         Set the A/C thermostat to 78 degrees or higher.  Greater peak-shaving can occur by increasing the setting by two to three degrees during the peak time.

·         Use clothes washers, dryers, dishwashers and other electric devices sparingly and try to get in the practice of using them outside of the peak energy use periods. If it’s necessary to use them during peak periods, try to limit usage to one appliance at a time.

·         The use of electric appliances, such as ovens, should be avoided during peak periods. Not only does an electric oven or range increase demand, it also raises the temperature in the home, resulting in longer run times for an air conditioner.

For more energy-saving tips, please visit www.united-cs.com.