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Texans Break Record For Hourly Electricity Demand

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NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Monday was a record breaker for Texas electricity use!

Officials with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) say hourly demand broke the 69,000 megawatts (MW) threshold for the first time in the grid operators history. ERCOT is the electric grid operator for most of the state of Texas.

Peak demand for electricity reached 69,783 MW between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. and 69,408 MW between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. According to ERCOT, the previous 68,912 MW of use was only a record for four days before being bested by Monday's new all-time high.

Chief Operating Officer Brad Jones said that for now the grid is holding its own. "The ERCOT system has been performing very well through the triple-digit temperatures we've been experiencing."

The CBS 11 Storm Team is forecasting a break in temperatures later in the week and ERCOT officials say electricity demand is expected to stay high until then.

Dan Woodfin, ERCOT director of System Operations, said, "Our focus continues to be on ensuring we maintain overall reliability and protect the grid while having sufficient generation in place to meet demand."

The peak demand hours for energy consumption are between 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. If you're wanting to reduce your energy consumption try taking the following steps –

Turn off all unnecessary lights, appliances, and electronic equipment
• When at home, close blinds and drapes that get direct sun
• Set air conditioning thermostats to 78 degrees or higher, and use fans to cool the air
• When away from home, set air conditioning thermostats to 85 degrees and turn all fans off before you leave
• Do not use dishwashers, laundry equipment, hair dryers, coffee makers, or other home appliances during the peak hours of 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
• Avoid opening refrigerators or freezers more than necessary
• Use microwaves for cooking instead of an electric range or oven
• Set pool pumps to run in the early morning or evening instead of the afternoon

(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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