Extreme cold weather expected to result in record electric use in ERCOT region

Posted on February 12, 2021

Consumers can stay current on grid conditions by downloading the ERCOT app and following ERCOT on Twitter

AUSTIN, TX, Feb. 11, 2021 – The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is expecting record electric use as a result of the extreme cold temperatures that have already reached much of the ERCOT region.

“This statewide weather system is expected to bring Texas the coldest weather we’ve experienced in decades,” said ERCOT President and CEO Bill Magness. “With temperatures rapidly declining, we are already seeing high electric use and anticipating record-breaking demand in the ERCOT region.”

Consumers can monitor grid conditions in real time by following ERCOT on Twitter (@ERCOT_ISO) and/or by downloading the ERCOT mobile app available on Google Play and in the Apple Store.

On Monday, Feb. 8, ERCOT issued an Operating Condition Notice (OCN) for extreme cold weather expected in the ERCOT region Thursday, Feb. 11 through Tuesday, Feb. 16. Subsequently, ERCOT issued an Advisory on Feb. 10 and a Watch on Feb. 11 for extreme cold weather. A Watch is the third level of communication issued by the ERCOT control room in anticipation of potential tight grid conditions.

Generators have been asked to take necessary steps to prepare their facilities for the expected cold weather, which includes reviewing fuel supplies and planned outages and implementing winter weatherization procedures. The grid operator is also working with transmission operators to minimize transmission outages that could reduce the availability of generation or otherwise impact the ability of the system to serve demand.

Based on the current load forecast, and if temperatures continue to decline, ERCOT could set a new all-time winter peak demand record Monday morning, Feb. 15. The current winter peak demand record is 65,915 MW set on Jan. 17, 2018 between 7 and 8 a.m.

CoServ Winter Weather Update

Over the next several days, temperatures in North Texas are expected to drop to some of the lowest levels recorded in more than 30 years. With single digits forecast for Sunday and Monday, we wanted to share these cold-weather tips. In addition to helping you save energy and money, they will help  by not increasing the already-high demand for natural gas and electricity.

  • Set your thermostat to 68 or lower when you’re home and awake, and turn your thermostat back 5 to 7 degrees when asleep or the home is empty for more than 4 hours. (Don’t do this if you have a heat pump. Instead, set your thermostat as low as comfortable and maintain the setting.)
  • Open curtains and blinds on south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to heat your home, and close them at sunset to reduce the chill.
  • Keep your fireplace flue closed unless a fire is burning.
  • Turn down your water heater temperature setting to warm (120 degrees F).
  • If you have a pool, run your pool pump during the coldest part of the day, typically in the early morning.

Use the CoServ app or SmartHub to monitor your energy usage this weekend and find ways to balance comfort and efficiency.  Also download the ERCOT app to monitor the situation.

Also, a link to rolling blog for updates throughout the weekend:  https://www.coserv.com/News/CoServ-News/coserv-prepares-for-possible-winter-emergency

Thank you and stay warm and safe!”

Close window