Consumers asked to conserve electricity 3-7 pm today and this week

Extreme heat expected to create tight capacity, high demand across state

Austin, Aug.1, 2011 -- The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Inc. (ERCOT), system operator for the state’s bulk transmission grid, is asking consumers and businesses to reduce their electricity use during peak electricity hours from 3 to 7 p.m. today and the rest of the week.

"The ERCOT region is continuing to experience record high temperatures throughout the state which is causing high electricity usage,” said Kent Saathoff, vice president of system planning and operations. “We expect to break our all-time peak electricity demand Tuesday and Thursday, depending on weather conditions.”

The current peak demand record is 65,776 MW set Aug. 23, 2010. One megawatt of power is enough electricity to power about 200 homes in Texas during hot weather when air conditioners are running for long periods of time, compared to 500 homes under normal conditions.

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