Hot weather results in record electricity demand in Texas

With summer heat expected to top 100 degrees, electric grid operators are asking Texas residents to help ease power  demand during peak times on Monday and Tuesday.

The Houston Chronical reported that the Electric Reliability Council of Texas indicated that Lone Star State residents set another new record for weekend peak demand late Sunday afternoon.

Statewide electricity demand reached 71,864 megawatts between 5 and 6 p.m. Sunday, surpassing the previous record set on Saturday by 218 megawatts.

Houston homes and businesses accounted for more than one-fourth of that electricity demand, ERCOT records show.

With temperatures expected to exceed 100 degrees on Monday and Tuesday, Houston utility company Reliant Energy sent out an alert on Sunday evening asking customers to reduce electricity ussage from 2 to 6 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday.

Setting air conditioner thermostats to higher temperatures and not using large appliances such as washers, dryers and electric-powered ovens during those times can prevent rolling blackouts and brownouts on the state grid.

Although utility companies have swtiched much of the state power grid to cheaper and cleaner sources of power such as natural gas, solar and wind, demand from triple-digit weather can still strain supplies.

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