Energy conservation emergency declared amid record high temperatures

ERCOT county map. Photo source:

Christopher Green, News Reporter

Due to record-high temperatures that have swept over Texas and other parts of the country, the operator of the electric grid for the majority of Texas has declared an energy conservation emergency for the state.

The Energy Reliability Council of Texas, issued an Emergency Alert (EEA) for the first time since 2014, the alert was canceled on Thursday. However, the record-setting temperatures have become common in the state leading officials to urge consumer conservation.

When EEAs are issued, ERCOT is able to take advantage of additional resources that are only available during tight operating conditions.

Senior Meteorologist from Accuweather forecasting Dan Kottlowski said the weather pattern that the area is currently experiencing may continue through the weekend and into the next week. Kottlowski said we will be dealing with record high temperatures.

“We’re going to stay in this hot weather pattern all the way through the weekend and early next week. It looks like at least through Tuesday temperatures are going to be at or above 100 degrees, so we will be dealing with record high temperatures,” Kottlowski said.

Kottlowski said the area has not had typical moisture come up from the south that usually cools down temperatures during August and September.

“Typically, what tends to happen is we get tropical moisture coming up from the south which dampens the heat and we haven’t had that this year. The potential there that we could have abnormally high temperatures all the way through August and into September,” Kottlowski said.

In San Marcos, residents and students are having to deal with the heat in their own ways and sometimes brave the heat for outdoor activities.

Texas State University student Briana Moses, who is an English major said the heatwave made it hard for her to enjoy being outside with her dog.

“She gets overheated so quickly and, I end up having to take her out early in the morning or really late at night which is hard because of my job,” Moses said.

Moses said she worries about her electric bill during the record high temperatures.

“I am scared to look at my electric bill because we have been running the air conditioner so much. I always have to adjust the temperature lower because it’s so hot outside,” Moses said.

Jaundrea Chester, music education freshman, said she felt effected by the heat after her first practice for band.

“After my first day of practice I felt pretty bad, and I am pretty sure it’s because of the heat because every time I went back outside, I didn’t feel good,” Chester said.

The University Star will continue to update this story as officials assess the weather-related conditions. 

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