Hotter Than Normal Temperatures Prompt PUC Conservation Alert

June 3, 2008

Hotter than normal temperatures have prompted the Texas Public Utility Commission to issue a “yellow” conservation alert in the face of a potential record high electricity demand.

The alert will remain in place through this week.

While stressing that electricity supplies are expected to be adequate, the PUC is recommending that electric customers be “thoughtful” about electricity use to prevent unnecessary demand.

On yellow alert days, extra conservation measures are urged because electricity shortages may occur during the peak usage hours of 3 – 7 p.m. A yellow alert will be declared for days where temperatures statewide are expected to be extremely hot, leading to record or near-record electricity consumption. A yellow alert will also be declared if unexpected high demand and unexpected outages of power plants occur.

During yellow alerts, all customers are encouraged to reduce electricity usage use as much as possible.

Electric customers are urged to turn off all unnecessary lights, appliances and electronic equipment. When at home, the PUC recommends that people close blinds and drapes that get direct , set air conditioning thermostats to 78 degrees or higher and use fans to cool the air.

The PUC also recommended that when away from home, air conditioning thermostats should be set to 85 degrees and all fans should be turned off before leaving. Block the by closing blinds or drapes on windows that will get direct .

The PUC added that customers should not use dishwashers, laundry equipment, hair dryers, coffee makers or other home appliances. People should also avoid opening refrigerators or freezers more than necessary, and use microwaves for cooking instead of an electric range or oven.

People with swimming pools are urged to set their pool pump to run in the early morning or evening instead of the afternoon.

With heavy electric usage, some lower-income customers may have difficulty paying utility bills throughout the summer. The PUC has information about bill payment assistance, low-income weatherization and energy efficiency measures available on its website at or by calling 888-782-8477.

InstantNewsWestu Staff

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