Net from Texas: Houston residents are skeptical that ERCOT will be able to meet the high demand this summer

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) – Days after the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, urged Houston residents to keep their thermostats at 78 degrees, grid conditions are running as normal.

ERCOT urged customers to conserve energy for a five-hour peak period on Saturday and Sunday due to unseasonably hot weather and six power generation plants went offline.

The request was not well received by city residents as many people are still upset about how ERCOT handled the power grid during the 2021 winter freeze.

“I think it’s a huge problem and I’m concerned,” said Charles Sapp.

At Memorial Park, Tracy Mitchell repeated that she felt the same way.

“My biggest question would be why?” said Mitchell.

ERCOT’s call for citizens to save energy was not renewed over the weekend, but Energy Ogre CEO Jesson Bradshaw was not surprised by the call to save energy.

RELATED: Texans asked to set thermostats to at least 78 degrees during the 5-hour peak Saturday, Sunday

“These power plants and transmission lines need maintenance every year, so the maintenance season is just coming around,” Bradshaw said. “We had this situation where we had quite a high temperature and demand as a lot of our infrastructure was being maintained.”

Bradshaw acknowledged frustration with ERCOT but said Houston had dealt with similar conservation requests for years.

He also said turning up the thermostat isn’t the only way to save energy during the summer months.

RELATED: Former ERCOT Vice-Chair Explains What Actually Went Wrong During the February 2021 Freeze

“Pull off things you no longer use,” Bradshaw said. “It makes sense to go through it from time to time and find out what kind of things we’re not using anymore.”

ERCOT released a report on Monday saying they should be able to keep up with demand from June to September, but that is under “normal system conditions”.

The same report states that ERCOT expects peak load records this summer.

ABC13 will be in Austin on Tuesday to ask ERCOT how they plan to turn on their lights despite a forecast of record demand.

Follow Chaz Miller on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Copyright © 2022 KTRK-TV. All rights reserved. Net from Texas: Houston residents are skeptical that ERCOT will be able to meet the high demand this summer

Chrissy Callahan

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