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DFW municipalities respond to ERCOT conservation appeal

ERCOT urges all Texans to reduce electricity use to avoid energy emergency. Government agencies also called on to conserve.

In an effort to prevent an energy emergency, ERCOT is urging all Texans to reduce their electricity usage until 10 p.m. on Thursday. This call for conservation comes as the grid faces the possibility of rolling blackouts.

There are various ways individuals can contribute to energy conservation, such as raising the thermostat by a degree or two and postponing the use of appliances like dishwashers and laundry machines. Additionally, ERCOT is reaching out to government agencies, including city and county offices, to encourage them to reduce electricity consumption at their facilities.

According to Ed Hirs, an energy fellow at the University of Houston, even a small reduction of 1% or 2% in electricity usage from the Texas grid can help prevent rolling blackouts.

To gain insight into the conservation efforts of municipalities in the DFW Metroplex, CBS News Texas contacted several entities:

- The City of Dallas follows International Energy Conservation Code guidelines and maintains a target set point of 75 degrees Fahrenheit when occupied. Adjustments are made based on factors like scheduled activities and events, facility usage, and special situations. During peak periods, the city voluntarily adjusts thermostats in response to ERCOT's requests for conservation measures.

- Dallas ISD is responding to the appeal by further raising thermostats and identifying areas where energy can be conserved.

- The City of Flower Mound adheres to a standard practice of adjusting temperatures by two degrees in the summer to conserve energy.

- The City of Coppell's city manager has requested employees with windows in their offices to turn off their lights for the rest of the day.

- The City of Arlington is not implementing any additional measures at its facilities but has previously installed energy-efficient features.

- The City of Fort Worth follows ERCOT's voluntary conservation notices and faces challenges in implementing energy-saving plans for essential services during peak hours.

While ERCOT is taking steps to enhance grid reliability, there is still a "high potential" for emergency operations this evening. The grid has already experienced multiple tests this summer, with 10 new peak demand records being set.

It is crucial for Texans to heed the call for energy conservation to prevent further strain on the grid and potential disruptions in electricity supply. By making small adjustments and collectively reducing electricity usage, individuals and organizations can contribute to a more stable energy landscape.

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