ERCOT asks Texans to conserve energy Monday between 6 and 10 a.m.

Monday might not be the only day it asks Texans to conserve. ERCOT said the same conditions will be around Tuesday morning, too.

AUSTIN, Texas — ERCOT has issued a conservation appeal. It’s asking Texans to save energy on Monday, Jan. 15, between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m., if it’s safe to do so.

According to a release, ERCOT is asking people to conserve because of “continued freezing temperatures, very high demand, and unseasonably low wind,” leading to lower levels of operating reserves.

Monday might not be the only day it asks Texans to conserve. ERCOT said the same conditions will be around Tuesday morning, too.

ERCOT said it’s not experiencing emergency conditions now, but could Monday morning before solar generation ramps up, which is why it’s asking Texans to conserve. ERCOT said it is also asking all government agencies to reduce power at their facilities.

What is an ERCOT Conservation Appeal?

An ERCOT Conservation Appeal is a request for Texans to reduce electrical usage, if safe to do so. Conservation is a widely used industry tool that can help the grid by lowering demand for a specific period of time, which is typically late afternoon into the evening hours in the summer, or early morning during the winter. Conservation helps grid operators balance generation supply and customer demand.

How can I reduce my electrical use?

Energy-saving tips for residents and businesses can be found at www.ercot.com/txans.

CHECK THE GRID: Here’s where you can check supply and demand

What happens when voluntary conservation isn’t enough?

If conservation requests aren’t enough, ERCOT may call for an Energy Emergency Alert. That has three different levels, with the first two designed to bring more generation to the grid.

The alert goes to Level 1 if operating reserves get below 2,300 MW and aren’t expected to recover for 30 minutes. If that happens, all available generation is brought online and any undeployed reserves are released.

Level 2 is reached if reserves drop below 1,750 MW and aren’t expected to recover within 30 minutes. If that happens, large industrial customers are paid to reduce power and more reserves are deployed.

Level 3 happens when operating reserves drop below 1,430 MW. Transmission companies are told to reduce their demand on electrical systems. It’s in Level 3 that rolling outages are possible. According to ERCOT, the outages are the last resort to prevent system-wide outages.

ERCOT has only ordered rolling outages four times.

  • December 22, 1989
  • April 17, 2006
  • February 2, 2011
  • February 15-18, 2021

If you rely on power for medical reasons, have a backup plan in place, whether battery backups or by generator.

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