HOUSTON -

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas is asking consumers to conserve energy during peak electricity hours from 3 p.m.-7 p.m.

ERCOT, the system operator for the state's bulk transmission grid, recommended residents take the following measures.

  • Turn off all unnecessary lights, appliances and electronic equipment.
  • When at home, close blinds and drapes that get direct sun, set air conditioning thermostats to 78 degrees or higher, and use fans to cool the air.
  • When away from home, set air conditioning thermostats to 85 degrees and turn off all fans before you leave. Block the sun by closing blinds or drapes on windows that will get direct sun.
  • Do not use your dishwasher, laundry equipment, hair dryers, coffee makers, or other home appliances during the peak hours of 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Avoid opening refrigerators or freezers more than necessary.
  • Use microwaves for cooking instead of an electric range or oven.
  • Set your pool pump to run in the early morning or evening instead of the afternoon.
  • Check out other no- or low-cost conservation tips or other energy efficiency improvements you can make to your home by visiting the PowerfulAdvice section of the PUC's Web site.
  • Go to www.powertochoose.org to see if you can save money by switching to a lower cost retail electricity provider. Your choice of electric provider does not affect the reliability of your electric service, the frequency or duration of outages, or the time it will take to have your electric service restored if an outage occurs.

Customers can also find information concerning payment assistance, low-income weatherization and bill payment assistance programs, and other energy efficiency information online at www.puc.state.tx.us.

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