If you cracked an egg on the sidewalk right now, you’d probably get a perfectly fried egg in minutes. It’s hot, folks (if you couldn’t already tell), and hotter than normal.
According to Space City Weather, Houston (Hobby) hit 100 degrees yesterday, about a month earlier than the average first 100-degree day of summer—it’s technically not even summer until June 20. And with more scorching days in the forecast, plus heat advisories and heat exhaustion warnings from the Houston Health Department, we’re in for a rough week.
Adding fuel to the fire, ERCOT is asking Texans to conserve energy through Friday.
Some background: The Electricity Reliability Council of Texas provides electricity to about 90 percent of Texas. The independent system operator for the region, ERCOT gained notoriety when under its management the power grid failed during Winter Storm Uri last February, causing millions of Texans—and 91 percent of Harris County residents—to lose power during the coldest days many had experienced in decades.
So what’s happening now? On Monday afternoon, ERCOT tweeted a conservation alert through Friday as “Tight grid conditions expected due to high number of forced generation outages, grid operator requests energy conservation.”
What does this mean? According to an ERCOT press release, about 11,000 megawatts of power generation are currently offline for repairs. That’s enough energy to power 2.2 million homes.
And with the record-high heat across Texas, ERCOT is expecting statewide energy demands as high as 73,000 megawatts Monday, another record high (the previous June record was 69,123 megawatts in 2018, according to the Texas Tribune).
According to ERCOT, the number of outages should decrease later in the week, but in the meantime, it suggests folks turn off lights and pool pumps, avoid using large appliances like ovens and laundry machines, turn off other appliances that aren’t in use, and turn up thermostats to 78 degrees or higher in order to conserve energy.
Read the full release from ERCOT here.