TYLER, Texas (KETK) – The summer heat is back, and the AC is on full blast for many households around East Texas. It’s also the return of the uncertainty on whether the Texas power grid will hold up.
ERCOT has issued a weather watch from June 15 to June 21 due to forecasted higher temperatures and higher electrical demand. Grid conditions are normal, but Texans are expected to use a record amount of energy this summer.
ERCOT is rolling out an additional service to help keep the grid in good shape this summer.
Last summer, ERCOT broke 11 peak demand records and this summer could break even new records.
Doug Lewin with Stoic Energy said we must get things under control.
“We’re a growing state. We’re seeing more and more extremes from climate change,” said Lewin. “We have got to get a handle on the demand side and be able to kind of bend that curve and even start to reduce it, and the state unfortunately took no action on that during the session.”
The online service which is available now, is designed to display the grid’s current reliability and keep supply and demand on a more balanced scale.
As the temperature reaches triple digits which could be as soon as this Friday, Texans are expected to use a record amount of energy which could potentially lead to power outages.
One Tyler resident Nikki Szabo said she’s not worried.
“I’ve lived in Texas my whole life and I’ve never experienced power outages due to the heat,” said Szabo.
Szabo added she puts in effort to conserve energy as much as possible.
“I turn my AC up so its not kicking on all day,” she said. “I keep it on 75-76 while I’m not home.”
As for the next three months, Lewin thinks any outages or calls for conservation using this new alert system, shouldn’t be anything extreme.
“I don’t think the summertime is something to lose sleep about. I lose a little sleep over the winter,” said Lewin.
The state is also launching a new website called “TXANS” which stands for Texas Advisory and Notification System. It is designed to give people timely warnings, sometimes days in advance, on when they may need to cut back on some energy use.
ERCOT also said they encourage all people to sign up for grid condition notifications to get updates as soon as possible.