Record Energy Use Yesterday
Officials predict another record today
By Lee Nichols,
4:25PM, Thu. Jun. 25, 2009
Press release from Austin Energy:
Austin electric use sets record
Peak electric use in Austin hit a new all time mark yesterday afternoon and is likely to set another record before this day is out.
The new peak demand record of 2,518 megawatts (MW) occurred between 4:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. (June 24). This means that during that hour, energy use in Austin reached the highest level ever in the history of Austin Energy. The previous Austin Energy peak demand record was set last summer in August at 2,514 MW.
Austin Energy has sufficient power to meet this high demand. The state of Texas also has ample generation reserves. ERCOT, the state grid operator, estimates about a 17 percent generation reserve at peak.
Austin Energy customers can help reduce peak demand by reducing energy usage to the degree possible – especially between 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. The key is to reduce heat in the home, which in turn reduces air conditioning needs. Air conditioning is about 70 percent of the average summer electric bill. Tips for reducing energy use and air conditioning:
* Turn off all lights and electronic equipment not needed
* Close blinds and drapes to keep direct sunlight from shining into rooms
* Use a microwave rather than the stove/oven as possible
* Dry clothes at night or during mornings
* Use fans, which can make you feel several degrees cooler
* Set your thermostat a few degrees higher than the settings you normally use
Make your home energy efficient. Customers of both Austin Energy and Texas Gas Service can receive rebates from both utilities when adding attic insulation, repairing leaking ducts and for improvements such as installing weather stripping around entry doors. Rebates from the two utilities together pay up to half the cost of those energy efficiency improvements.
Visit www.austinenergy.com for information on rebates and zero percent home efficiency loans.