“We ask Texans to save power when they can by setting the thermostats to 78 degrees or higher and avoiding the use of large appliances (such as dishwashers, washers and dryers) during rush hour between 3pm and 8pm throughout the weekend,” said interim CEO Brad Jones in the statement.
The appeal comes as record temperatures over most of the southern United States this weekend are expected to exacerbate an increasingly deep drought.
From Phoenix to Amarillo, Texas, record temperatures are expected to reach triple digits, with a chance for some parts of Texas to break daily records over the next seven days.
Now the heat is testing Texas’s power grid.
On Wednesday, the ERCOT power plant asked to postpone power outages and return from power outages that are already underway “to serve Texans this weekend.”
Temperatures Saturday should be in the 90s across Texas – 10 to 15 degrees above average, according to CNN meteorologists. Temperatures from the mid-90s to the low 100s are expected on Sunday, with large parts of central and western Texas reaching 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 from the organization.
The unusually warm weather is driving record demand across the state, the statement said.