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Powergrid Stress During the Heatwave

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As the heat continues in Texas, and talks of rolling blackouts and power conservation persist, we turned to Payless Power CEO, Brandon Young, to give Texans the inside scoop on how this heat affects the power grid and what impact they should expect to see on their wallet.

How have the heat waves in Texas affected the electricity demand?

CEO of Payless Power, Brandon Young, explained, “Air conditioners are designed to cool homes by 15-20 degrees below the outside temperature. When it’s 100 degrees or hotter outside, the AC runs nonstop, leading to higher energy usage and significantly increased customer bills.”


How important is energy conservation during a heatwave? And what advice or tips do you have for residents to reduce their energy consumption and lower their electricity bills during hot weather?

Young continued, “During hot weather, paying attention to ERCOT or the grid operator is crucial. If the grid is at risk of a brownout or blackout, simply raising the thermostat by a couple of degrees may not be effective. When it’s over 100 degrees outside, the AC may struggle to cool a home below 80 degrees. Consider setting the thermostat to 80-85 when you’re not home to save energy. If enough people do this during extreme events, it can make a significant impact.”

Should Texans be preparing for rolling blackouts?

Young said, “Texans are rightfully concerned about the aftermath of the winter storm and its impact on the state. While winter-related challenges bring additional issues not felt in the summer, Texas has become increasingly reliant on solar and wind energy. This dependence poses a risk of blackouts during hot summer days when there’s insufficient wind power.

To stay informed about such events, people can visit www.ercot.com, where the supply and demand graph indicates if demand might exceed supply, potentially leading to blackouts. The issues worsen if a power plant fails during a tight supply-demand situation. It’s advisable for Texans to be prepared for potential blackouts. Hopefully, the state’s government and its leadership are taking steps to address the situation and protect Texans.”

Field of wind turbines
Field of wind turbines

Should Texans expect a significant increase in their energy bill in their next billing cycle? If so, can you give us an estimated percentage increase?

Young stated, “June tends to be one of the costlier months for Texans in terms of energy bills. As temperatures soar to record highs and remain high for an extended period, energy usage naturally increases. Customers should anticipate their usage to be around 10% higher compared to a typical June, which tends to be the 3rd most expensive month of the year.

However, the actual increase can vary significantly depending on factors such as the age of the home, the condition of the AC system, and the level of insulation, which affects how much the heat affects the indoor environment.”

About Payless Power

Payless Power offers Texans reliable, pay-as-you-go electricity service at a low cost. Whether you live in a large city or small town, we can save you money today.

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