Conserving energy is always beneficial for members looking to save on their monthly bills, but it can be especially impactful during the summer. From June to September, PEC often requests that members conserve energy during the hottest part of the day, which we call Power Rush Hour®, from 2-7 p.m. But there are two different reasons we might ask you to conserve.
When we share communications about conserving due to “peak heat” conditions, the goal is to lower next year’s transmission costs, which saves all PEC members money on their bills. Those costs are set by the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) based on the cooperative’s demand during the 15 minutes of highest use each month from June through September.
On other occasions, “peak heat” may put electric demand at risk of overwhelming supply. When that happens, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which manages the statewide electric grid, may ask Texans everywhere to reduce their consumption.
If this conservation alert does not successfully curtail demand, ERCOT may announce energy emergency alerts. There are three levels of these ERCOT alerts — the final alert, known as Energy Emergency Alert-3, is what initiates mandated controlled outages. During an emergency, PEC will keep members informed of conservation needs and the potential for taking additional action.
Naturally, ERCOT conservation alerts are likely to occur on peak heat days; however, PEC’s announcement of a peak heat day does not mean an emergency situation is imminent.
PEC members can monitor the energy grid on ERCOT’s website, as well as visit our website regularly and follow the cooperative’s social media channels. Because conservation allows our members to save now and later, we urge our members to use less power during the summer, especially during Power Rush Hour.