For the third time in six days – Austin has set another all-time record for peak electric demand. The all-time peak is that hour in the history of Austin Energy when demand for electricity peaks at the highest level ever.
Last Wednesday (June 24) saw a peak record of 2,518 megawatts (MW). The next day (Thursday, June 25), a new record was set at 2,551 MW. Today (Monday, June 29), the all-time record edged up to 2,602 MW.
Before this summer, the peak record had been 2,514 MW. That occurred last August during a summer that saw 50 days of 100 degree or higher temperatures.
The current string of records occurred each day between 4:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Austin Energy has sufficient power to meet this high demand. The state of Texas also has ample generation reserves. There are about 550 generating units in ERCOT representing 72,700 MW of generation. The peak for the state so far this summer has been 62,298 MW.
Customers can help Austin Energy manage peak demand by reducing energy use 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 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. Federal tax credits are also available on many of these measures.