“We are asking Texans to conserve electricity when they can by setting their thermostats to 78 degrees or higher and by refraining from using large appliances (like dishwashers, washers and dryers) during peak hours between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m avoiding the weekend,” interim CEO Brad Jones said in the statement. p
The appeal comes as record temperatures this weekend are expected to exacerbate a deepening drought in most of the southern U.S.
From Phoenix to Amarillo, Texas, record temperatures in the triple digits are expected, with a chance that some parts of Texas will break daily records over the next seven days.
Now the heat is putting Texas’ power grid to the test.
On Wednesday, ERCOT urged power plants to postpone outages and return from outages already in progress “to supply Texans this weekend.”
Temperatures on Saturday should be in the 90s across Texas — 10 to 15 degrees above average, according to CNN weather forecasters. Temperatures are expected to range in the mid-90s to the low 100s on Sunday, with much of central and west Texas hitting 100 to 105 degrees — about 10 to 15 degrees above average.
ERCOT accounts for about 90% of the state’s electrical load, according to a statement by the organization.
The unusually hot weather is driving demand across the state to record levels, the statement said.