High summer temperatures and increased power usage means the Texas power grid has a decreased power reserve available for the entire state, increasing the probability of rolling blackouts.
The governor’s office, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) and UT Health San Antonio’s Facilities Management are asking faculty, staff and students to conserve energy both at home and at the office during the month of September.
Some things we can do at work and at home to reduce our electrical use are:
- Turn off all lights in work areas that don’t impact critical work before leaving the university or your home.
- Choose natural or task-specific lighting versus using all the office or home lights.
- Unplug appliances that are not often utilized, such as electronic toothbrushes, coffee makers, microwaves, printers, LCD/LED televisions, DVD/Blu-ray players, cell phone chargers, etc.
- Avoid using large appliances and equipment such as ovens, dryers and washer machines during peak times.
- Set home thermostats at least two to four degrees higher than normal.
- Use fans to feel four to six degrees cooler.
Energy conservation during peak load times (2 p.m. to 7 p.m.) will minimize the probability of entering an ERCOT and state of Texas rolling blackout scenario during this hot month of September.
In addition, you’ll save money. One 50” LCD/LED television, on standby mode (off yet still plugged into the 120V outlet), uses about 160 kWh per year. One DVD/Blu-ray player also on standby mode uses about 60 kWh per year. These two devices equate to about $20 per year in electric costs; on average a typical household can achieve about $200 per year savings on their electricity bill when accounting for all the devices and appliances on standby mode.