The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Inc. (ERCOT), system operator for the state’s bulk transmission grid, is asking consumers and businesses to reduce their electricity use during peak electricity hours from 3 to 7 p.m. today and the rest of the week and weekend.

"The ERCOT region is continuing to experience record-high temperatures throughout the state which is causing high electricity usage,” said Kent Saathoff, vice president of system planning and operations. “We have lost some additional generation, as well, so there is a good chance we will need to implement the first stage of our emergency procedures today.”

Peak electricity demand is forecast to be more than 67,000 MW today. The current all-time peak demand record is 68,294 MW, which occurred on Aug. 3, 2011. Prior to this year, the record was 65,776 MW, Aug. 23, 2010. One megawatt powers about 200 average homes in Texas during summer conditions.

“We’re expecting more high temperatures Thursday and through the weekend, so we may have more emergency procedures later in the week and weekend,” Saathoff said. “Until we get a break in this extreme heat and record drought, we appreciate consumers and businesses conserving electricity as they are able, especially between 3 and 7 p.m.