© 2024 88.9 KETR
Public Radio for Northeast Texas
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

ERCOT asks Texans to conserve electricity again Tuesday morning amid freezing temperatures

 The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, operates Texas's electrical grid.
Julia Reihs
KUT News
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, operates Texas's electrical grid.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas is asking people to conserve electricity Tuesday morning, the second such request issued by the grid operator this week as freezing weather continues to grip the state.

In a media release Monday, ERCOT asked people to conserve between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. Tuesday. The grid operator said it is expecting electricity supply to be tight with “the winter storm encompassing the entire state and temperatures forecasted to be colder this evening and into tomorrow morning."

Austin Warnings and closures: What to know about Austin's freezing weather KUT Staff

ERCOT has tips for conserving power on its web page, including lowering the thermostat by a degree or two; not using large appliances like washers and driers; and turning off lights when not in use.

Texans were first asked to conserve Monday morning from 6 to 10.

“Due to continued freezing temperatures, very high demand and unseasonably low wind, operating reserves for the Texas power grid are expected to be low Monday morning, Jan. 15, prior to the solar ramp up,” ERCOT wrote Sunday. ERCOT said it expects a similar situation on Tuesday.

At points ahead of Monday's request, the grid operator had forecasted supply to potentially outstrip expected demand. Ultimately, energy demand came in much lower than forecast, it is unclear how much of that, if any, was the result of conservation.

The conservation requests have angered some Texans, many of whom as still frustrated with the performance of the state grid after the winter blackout of 2021.

Early last week, officials had said they expected “normal operations” through the mid-January freeze as ample electric reserves were expected.

Copyright 2024 KUT News. To see more, visit KUT News.

Mose Buchele is the Austin-based broadcast reporter for KUT's NPR partnership StateImpact Texas . He has been on staff at KUT 90.5 since 2009, covering local and state issues. Mose has also worked as a blogger on politics and an education reporter at his hometown paper in Western Massachusetts. He holds masters degrees in Latin American Studies and Journalism from UT Austin.