Summer basically starts in April in Texas even though the official start of summer isn't until late June. That means that we are turning our air conditioning units on, and leaving them on, longer than just about anyone in the country. All those millions of AC units running drains a lot of power from the Texas power grid. With a somewhat brutal summer expected for this year, that power drain could be higher than the grid can handle. That's why ERCOT has issued a warning for us for this summer.

Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT)

Since the snowmageddon of 2021, the Texas power grid has been under constant scrutiny. The head of ERCOT even resigned because of the mishandling of the grid. Since that time, ERCOT has been more transparent with how the grid keeps power flowing to Texans on a daily basis. They even set up a website where you can watch the power grid in real time (ercot.com). Since that winter event, the grid has held up during days of extreme temperatures both hot and cold.

ERCOT has also been more open about concerns that blackouts or other measures may be needed to keep up with demand. Recently, the electric council said that there is a 12% chance that rolling blackouts may be the norm for this summer, specifically during the month of August when we're the hottest.

Blackout Prevention

The usual steps are being asked of Texans to conserve power this summer:

  • Turn off lights when a room is not in use
  • Keep doors and curtains shut to keep in air conditioned air
  • Remember to change your air conditioning's air filter on a regular basis
  • Set your air conditioning temperature to a comfortable temperature instead of cold
  • Have solar panels installed on your home

ERCOT has also asked lawmakers in Austin to possibly build more nuclear plants to help increase power delivery (KVUE). That's a long-term solution, though. It won't help with the current concerns of if the power grid can keep up with our consumption this summer.

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