PUCT Echoes ERCOT Call for Voluntary Power Conservation

ERCOT text voluntary conservation notice

This summer, ERCOT has set 10 new all-time peak demand records.

Austin, Texas – The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) is echoing a notice from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) asking Texans to voluntarily reduce electricity use, if safe to do so, due to extreme temperatures, forecasted record demand and lower reserves due to low wind-power generation. The Voluntary Conservation Notice is in effect from 3 p.m. – 8 p.m. CT today, Thursday, August 17.

ERCOT is not experiencing emergency conditions at this time. Voluntary conservation is a widely used industry tool that can help lower demand during a specific period of time, typically late afternoon and evening.

Today’s Voluntary Conservation Notice is part of ERCOT’s Texas Advisory and Notification System (TXANS), which alerts the public of grid conditions. Last week, ERCOT extended a Weather Watch through August 18 due to forecasted higher temperatures, higher demand, and the potential for lower reserves.

ERCOT is requesting all government agencies (including city and county offices) to implement all programs to reduce energy use at their facilities.

ERCOT and the PUCT are asking Texans to take simple power conservation steps to reduce demand on the grid. The PUCT’s Power to Save website has tips for reducing electricity use in homes and businesses and other energy saving tips are available at TXANS (ercot.com).

If a Texas consumer is experiencing an outage, it is local in nature and not related to overall grid reliability. Customers should check with their local electric provider for more information. If a consumer needs further assistance, they can contact the PUCT’s Customer Protection Division by calling 1-888-782-8477 or emailing customer@puc.texas.gov.

ERCOT will continue to use all tools available to manage the grid reliably, including using reserve power, calling upon reductions by large electric customers that have volunteered to lower their energy use, and bringing more generation online sooner.

On Aug. 10, ERCOT set a new all-time unofficial peak demand record of 85,435 MW. In 2022, the Aug. peak demand was 78,365 MW. This summer, ERCOT has set 10 new all-time peak demand records. Last summer, ERCOT set 11 new peak demand records.

About the Public Utility Commission

Our mission is to serve Texans by regulating the state’s electric, telecommunication, and water and sewer utilities, implementing respective legislation, and offering customer assistance in resolving consumer complaints. Since its founding in 1975, the Commission has a long and proud history of service to Texas, protecting customers, fostering competition, and promoting high quality infrastructure. To learn more, please visit https://www.puc.texas.gov.