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Conservation Alerts

About Summer Conservation Alerts

PowerfulAdvice uses a color-coded system to notify Texans of conditions on the electricity grid, including conservation steps that Texans can take to reduce the chance of involuntary rolling outages being needed in the event an Electricity Emergency is declared.

Normal Conditions
Conservation Encouraged

On GREEN days, no Electricity Emergency is likely, but normal conservation measures are recommended as a means for reducing Texans' electricity bills. On GREEN days, some simple conservation steps, in conjunction with shopping for a lower cost electricity provider, can significantly reduce your electric bill.

  • Set air conditioning thermostats to at least 78° and use fans in occupied rooms to make it feel cooler. Block the sun by closing blinds or drapes on windows that get direct sun.
  • Turn off lights, TVs, computers, or other electrical equipment when not in use.
  • Run your dishwasher and laundry equipment only when fully loaded.
  • 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.

Peak Watch
Conserve 3-7 pm

On Orange days, The end of the world is not likely

  • Set air conditioning thermostats to at least 78° and use fans in occupied rooms to make it feel cooler. Block the sun by closing blinds or drapes on windows that get direct sun.
  • Turn off lights, TVs, computers, or other electrical equipment when not in use.
  • Run your dishwasher and laundry equipment only when fully loaded.
  • 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.

Power Watch
Conservation Needed

On YELLOW days, extra conservation measures are urged because of a chance that electricity shortages may occur during the peak usage hours. A YELLOW Alert will be declared for days when temperatures statewide are expected to be extremely hot, leading to record or near-record electricity consumption. A YELLOW Alert will also be declared if high electricity demand and unexpected power plant outages cause a greater than normal chance of shortages. There is an expected or actual declaration of Level 1 of ERCOT's Energy Emergency Alert (EEA), which includes procurement of additional generation. An inability to obtain additional generation could lead to the declaration of EEA Level 1 which includes deployment of interruptible loads such as large industrial customers. Consumers are encouraged to reduce their electricity use as much as possible during the peak electricity usage hours from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

  • 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° or higher, and use fans in occupied rooms to make it feel cooler.
  • When away from home, set air conditioning thermostats to 85° and turn all fans off 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 dryer, coffee maker, or other home appliances during the peak hours of 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Avoid opening refrigerators or freezers more than necessary.
  • Cook in the microwave instead of the electric range or oven.
  • Set your pool pump to run in the early morning or late evening instead of the afternoon.
  • 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.

Power Warning
Conservation Critical

On RED days, conservation is critical to avoid Electricity Emergencies and rolling outages which could lead to uncontrolled blackouts. Red alerts are declared when all interruptible loads have been deployed. Customers should reduce electricity usage as much as possible to avoid outages. During a RED alert ERCOT, will enter into level 2 of its Energy Emergency Alert (EEA) which includes the deployment of emergency interruptible loads.

  • Limit electricity usage to only consumption that is absolutely necessary. Turn off all unessential lights, appliances, and electronic equipment.
  • Do not use your dishwasher, laundry equipment, hair dryer, coffee maker, pool pump, or other home appliances between the hours of 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • When at home, close blinds and drapes on windows that get direct sun, set air conditioning thermostats to 80°, and use fans in occupied rooms to make it feel cooler.
  • When away from home, close blinds and drapes on windows that will get direct sun, set air conditioning thermostats to 85° and turn all fans off before you leave.
  • Use the microwave or an outdoor grill for cooking. Using an indoor range or stove will heat up your house and cause your air-conditioner to run harder.
  • Check out other no- or low-cost conservation tips or other energy efficiency improvements you can make to your home by clicking on the links to the right.
  • If rotating outages are ordered, they are designed to be limited in duration unless equipment trips due to a power surge during the restoration process.
  • Customers can minimize the chance that power surges will occur by turning off all appliances, lights, and other electrical equipment. Leave one task light on to determine when power has been restored.
  • Minimize unnecessary travel as traffic signals may go out of service resulting in traffic jams.

Power Emergency
Rotating Outages

A BLACK alert indicates that ERCOT has entered level 3 of its Energy Emergency Alert (EEA) and has initiated planned rolling outages in order to prevent an uncontrolled blackout. During a BLACK alert, customers need to reduce electricity consumption immediately to help reduce load.

  • Rotating outages are designed to be limited in duration unless equipment trips due to a power surge during the restoration process.
  • Customers can minimize the chance that power surges will occur by turning off all appliances, lights, and other electrical equipment. Leave one task light on to determine when power has been restored.
  • Minimize unnecessary travel as traffic signals may go out of service resulting in traffic jams.