How you can help conserve power as Texas grid struggles to meet electricity demand

Ella Malena Feldman
Austin American-Statesman

It's hot. And even though summer doesn't officially start until Sunday, Texas is already struggling to meet demands for electricity as air conditioners are cranked up and power plants are shut down for maintenance. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas is asking Texans to "reduce electric use as much as possible" through Friday.

So, how can you conserve energy? Here are guidelines from ERCOT and other tips.

How to conserve power in Texas

Residential Consumers

  • Set your thermostat to 78 degrees or higher – every degree of cooling increases your energy use by six to eight percent.
  • Turn off and unplug non-essential lights and appliances.
  • Avoid using large appliances like ovens and washing machines.
  • Close drapes and blinds.

Businesses

  • Minimize electric lighting and the use of electric equipment.

Large Consumers

  • Consider shutting down or reducing non-essential production processes.

MOREERCOT calls for Texans to conserve electricity 'as much as possible' through Friday

Wind turbines work to make power near Lubbock. [AMERICAN-STATESMAN/FILE]

How to track electricity demand in Texas

  • View daily peak demand forecast, current load and available generation on ERCOT.com.

MOREWhy are you sweating so much outside? 5 things to know about Austin weather and the heat index

Ways to stay cool while conserving energy

  • Keep doors and windows closed during the day to keep heat out.
  • Ventilate your house well at night to let cool air in.
  • Wear light, loose-fitting clothes.
  • Drink lots of cold liquids.
  • Relax in rooms that do not receive direct sunlight.