High temperatures and high electric use go hand in hand in most of Texas. The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) want consumers to know they can stay cool and save money while reducing their electric use during the hottest times of the day.
The PUC and ERCOT recently unveiled new public service announcements for television and radio to help spread that conservation message.
ERCOT has introduced the new spots, in both English and Spanish, on YouTube. Consumers throughout the ERCOT region will see the announcements on local TV stations and will hear similar messages on local radio stations beginning later this month.
“Texans can stay comfortable, ensure reliable power and save money all at the same time,” PUC Chairman Donna Nelson said in a news release. “The Power to Save is in our hands.”
The bilingual announcements “Fanfare” and “Dizzy,” produced by Sherry Matthews Advocacy Marketing, focus on the reliability and financial benefits of raising thermostats by two degrees during the 3-7 p.m. peak demand period.
ERCOT has used several tools this summer to raise awareness and encourage conservation during the peak use hours, including its new ERCOT Energy Saver mobile app for iPhones and Android devices. The PUC also has launched a new Power to Save website, which includes useful tips.
“The PUC and ERCOT want as many consumers as possible to know that they can make a big difference when electric use is especially high and grid conditions are tight,” ERCOT CEO Trip Doggett said in a news release. “In summer 2011, our data indicate that consumer responses to our conservation requests helped prevent rotating outages on the ERCOT grid.”
ERCOT’s Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy for this summer projected that ERCOT would have sufficient electricity available to meet consumer needs, but also anticipated numerous calls for conservation during days when temperatures or power plant outages were higher than normal.
That forecast has proven accurate so far this summer. Although brief heat waves in June and July drove peak demand to new monthly records, ERCOT has been able to avoid an emergency situation during high-demand periods and has not yet surpassed the overall 2011 peak demand record of 68,379 megawatts (MW). One MW is enough electricity to power about 200 homes during peak demand.
For more information about energy conservation between the hours of 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., visit the PUC Power to Save website at www.powertosavetexas.org and download the ERCOT Energy Saver app from the Apple App Store or Google Play.