Energy emergency declared amidst Texas heat wave

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AUSTIN, Texas (KWTX) The operator of the electric grid that serves most of Texas has declared an energy conservation emergency as temperatures across much of the state approached or exceeded 100 degrees.

The Energy Reliability Council of Texas appealed to all of the state's consumers of electric power to limit and reduce their usage during the peak demand hours of 3 to 7 p.m. Tuesday after reserve capacity fell below 2,300 megawatts.

“High temperatures have resulted in record electricity demand over the last few days and may result in a new record today,” said ERCOT President and CEO Bill Magness. “Consumers can help lower energy consumption by taking some simple actions between the hours of 3 and 7 p.m.”

No rotating power outages were immediately reported.

ERCOT suggests setting thermostats 2 to 3 degrees higher, set pool pumps to shut off from 4 to 6 p.m., turn off and unplug nonessential lights and appliances, and avoid using large appliances such as ovens and washing machines during peak hours.

A megawatt is about enough electricity to power roughly 200 homes running air conditioners during hot weather.