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Hot Texas Weather Puts Heavy Strain On Electric Grid

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Friday is expected to be the hottest day of the summer so far across the DFW area, with actual temperatures reaching a few degrees above the triple-digit mark and 'feels-like' temperatures being even higher. On a hot day like this, many people want to crank the air conditioning.

But, when it is this warm, all of that air conditioning use can put a heavy strain on the electric grid.

The state almost broke the record on Thursday afternoon for systemwide electricity demand in the month of July. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) said that peak demand reached 68,669 megawatts between 4:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. on Thursday -- the hottest time of the day. That is just shy of the July record, which was set last week.

ERCOT has assured that there is enough generation to meet the state's demand without a strain or any brownouts.

But there are still steps that consumers should take to help out. "It is important for customers to know that the hours between 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. are the most vital," explained Oncor spokesman Kris Spears. "Raise your thermostat by two to three degrees, use fans to cool yourself, close drapes and curtains."

August is typically the hottest month of the year in Texas. ERCOT does expect electricity demand to increase.

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