ERCOT encourages all Texans to sign up for the Texas Advisory and Notification System (TXANS)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Melissa Krause
Chief Strategic Communications and Security Officer
830.629.8440 | email@example.com
(New Braunfels, TX – June 14, 2023) – Excessive, high heat is in the forecast for the official start of summer, just a week away. As a helpful reminder, New Braunfels Utilities (NBU) would like to share energy-saving household techniques to conserve electric use in the home. The current heat wave may include record heat from day to night with a dangerous combination of heat and humidity, leading to heat indices above 110 degrees. That means you may want to adjust your thermostat, resulting in your air conditioner working even harder than normal. If your AC is running more than usual, that will equate to more electric use, and the more you use, the higher the electric bill will be. There are simple steps you can take to combat both.
New Braunfels Utilities advises customers to consider the following energy-saving tips:
- Use blackout curtains to keep the heat out of the home, and close all curtains and shutters.
- Run ceiling fans counterclockwise, which pushes cooler air down and hot air up.
- Wear cool, lightweight clothing. Lighter-weight sheets and blankets can also help you keep cool at night.
The most important item in your home to consider is your thermostat. Modern HVAC units are only rated to bring the temperature down about 20°F below the outside temperature. This can vary from home to home based on age, size, and condition of the HVAC units, the home condition, and the amount of direct sun that hits the home. Even if you set your thermostat to 78°F during the day, the system will have to work 3%-7% harder for every degree to combat the outdoor above 98°F temperature. For example, this Friday is predicted to be 104°F and if you have your thermostat set to 78°F, that 20°F differential will be surpassed by 6°F and therefore, the AC will be working overtime at 18-42% of its normal load. If you lower the thermostat to a temperature of 74°F, the factor increases to 10°F, and the electric usage increases to 30-70% of its base load. It also won’t get much cooler, if at all, in the house.
Here are some helpful tips for operating your thermostat efficiently:
- Set your thermostat at a temperature you can tolerate, providing humidity control if needed. The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall electric bill.
- Keep your house warmer than normal when you are away, and lower the thermostat setting when you return home and need cooling. A programmable thermostat allows you to do this automatically and without sacrificing comfort.
- Avoid setting your thermostat colder than normal when turning on your air conditioner. It will not cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and unnecessary expense.
- For more “beat the heat” resources, visit nbutexas.com/conservation.
On June 13, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) issued its first Weather Watch to inform Texans that they are forecasting increased demand due to the higher temperatures expected this week and into next week. Pablo Vegas, ERCOT President and CEO, commented. “Grid conditions are normal when we issue a Weather Watch. ERCOT continues to monitor conditions closely, deploy all available tools to manage the grid, and continue our reliability-first approach to operations, always prioritizing grid reliability.” The ERCOT 6-day Supply and Demand dashboard, on the ERCOT website, shows the possibility of a new all-time peak demand record later this week. The dashboards will update in real-time as the week progresses. There is currently enough capacity to meet forecasted demand. Last year, ERCOT set 11 new peak demand records, surpassing 80 GWs for the first time ever. The current record of 80,148 MWs was set on July 20, 2022. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (encourages everyone to sign up for grid condition notifications through the Texas Advisory and Notification System (TXANS) at www.ercot.com/txans.Texans can monitor real-time and extended grid conditions and view energy-saving tips at www.ercot.com. ERCOT advised Texans that reducing electric use during peak demand times can help them save and lower demand on the grid.
About New Braunfels Utilities:
New Braunfels Utilities (NBU) strives to be a trusted community partner dedicated to excellence in service and is one of 2,000 community-owned, nonprofit public power electric utilities in the nation. With a mission of strengthening our community by providing resilient essential services, NBU is governed by a Board of Trustees comprised of residents appointed by the New Braunfels City Council. New Braunfels Utilities provides electric, water, and wastewater services. Utility revenues are continually invested back into the systems of the customers, which benefits the community. New Braunfels Utilities makes an annual transfer to the City of New Braunfels, which in turn helps to pay for services such as fire, police, and parks. Follow NBU on Facebook at facebook.com/newbraunfelsutilities, on Twitter at @nbutexas, and to learn more, visit nbutexas.com.