What’s All This Talk About “Peak Demand” in Texas?

Have you heard about “peak demand” and “electric grid conditions” in Texas?  It may sound technical, but it’s actually pretty simple – and we’re here to demystify it for you.

While the Texas electric grid is well-sourced with energy (a growing percentage of which is renewable energy, thanks in part to you!), occasionally a hot summer day will bring higher than expected energy demand.  This puts a strain on the grid – think about all the air conditioners working hard to keep Texans cool.

When electricity demand reaches new highs (i.e. the demand is getting close to the supply ceiling), that can increase the cost of energy for everyone, and can result in older, more polluting power plants to have to add more energy to the grid to quickly supply that extra demand.  This year the Texas grid is already operating close to its capacity, which makes this topic even more relevant.

As a Green Mountain customer, you can rest assured that you’re choosing cleaner energy for your home and supporting the development and continued operation of renewable energy facilities.  But to help ensure there’s enough power to go around, and to keep the grid healthy, we should all be conscious about how much energy we use, especially during the hottest parts of the day, typically 3-7 pm.


Top 3 Tips to Conserve Energy

Save energy during “peak demand,” 3-7 pm.

 1.  Adjust your home thermostats three degrees higher and block direct sun by closing blinds or drapes.

2.  Turn off (and unplug) lights, TVs, computers, or other electrical equipment when not in use.

3.  Postpone activities that require the use of large appliances, such as dishwashers, washing machines, dryers, cooking appliances, or pool pumps, until later in the evening.


On days that the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) issues a Peak Demand Warning, we’ll send out tweets or Facebook posts reminding you to conserve.  Or, you can check out the Power To Save – Texas for grid conditions and a real-time guide on what measures you should take to conserve.

Have questions?  Comment below and we’ll be happy to answer.  Thanks for conserving!