With frigid temps descending on Texas, Reliability Council warns conservation is key
Most of us are aware of the threats spring storms pose to our power – the lightning makes it pretty apparent in most areas of the country. Along with that, the threat of rolling blackouts during summer heatwaves can also loom large. But what about winter?
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) released a warning early Sunday morning, as Texans (us included) huddled for warmth inside their homes. The general idea was simple: electric conservation would be required, otherwise an an overload of the grid may occur, leading to a loss of electrical reliability (generally, rolling blackouts).
What were their recommendations for conserving power? Read on to find out..
Not just for emergencies
Before we get into the specific recommendations for conserving power during the high-demand times, it is worth noting that some of these steps can be taken at any time during the winter to help lower energy costs, and reduce overall demand on the utility power systems. Now let’s take a look at the recommendations from ERCOT:
Thermostat Down, Bundle Up
The first, and most obvious step in preserving energy during these cold times is to sacrifice a bit of comfort for savings from your electric heat system. Even a few degrees can make a difference, and ERCOT recommends 68 degrees or lower.
Turn off and unplug non-essential lights and appliances
Turning off unused lights is fairly straightforward, but many devices consume substantial energy even when turned off. Investigating these devices, such as A/V players, chargers, and other ‘vampire power’ devices can lead to year-round savings by simply only having them plugged in when necessary.
Reduce Large Appliance Use
Large appliances can place a significant strain on the power grid, and running them during peak times causes even bigger problems. In addition, users can reduce their energy consumption by ensuring a load is full before running, eliminating wasteful use.
Close shades and Blinds to Reduce Heat Loss
Many do not realize the role that window coverings play in energy efficiency in the home – at night, an open blind can allow a vast amount of heat energy to escape, causing the home heat system to work harder and consume more energy. Closing curtains and blinds traps heat within, and reduces the amount of energy needed to keep things at the optimum temperature.
How can Minuteman help?
The tips offered by ERCOT are just the tip of the iceberg – homeowners can take steps all around the house to reduce energy consumption.
Minuteman’s UPS and RPM products, coupled with SentryHD Power Manager software, can shut down equipment automatically to eliminate vampire power loss year-round, and save users substantial amounts of money on their utility bills.