Record power demands expected this summer

Posted at 11:28 PM, Jun 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-04 00:28:05-04

It’s shaping up to be a long hot summer here in South Texas, and it’s time to start thinking about ways to keep you electric bills from soaring like the temperatures. The folks with CPL Retail Energy recently visited us with some timely information on how you can better manage your power usage and save some money.

ERCOT,  the Electric Reliability Council of Texas is the non-profit corporation that runs the state’s electrical grid. It’s predicting record-breaking peak demands for power this summer. And that’s based on forecasts for some really hot weather this summer. Although ERCOT expects to have sufficient generating capacity to meet demand this summer, the combination a growing economy, the closure of older power plants,and the hot weather will reduce the margins to just 10-to-12 percent.

And that is why ERCOT has asked Texas energy suppliers like CPL to help encourage consumers to better manage their usage.That not only eases the strain on the electric grid, it also helps you save some money.  One of the easiest things you can do is get a fixed price contract. If you’re month-to-month, you run the risk of getting  hammered if really hot weather causes a price spike. 

CPL spokeswoman Jessica Mahaffey says, "That’s why CPL is offering its customers. a "3-year loyalty" program… 3 years, fixed term, fixed price… and $120 back a year on the anniversary of each of the 3 years."

The company is also rolling out a new voluntary management program called the "Reduce Your Use"program.

Mahaffey says, "You take some simple actions like raising your thermostat a degree or two over a month period and reduce you use by about 10% and you’ll get a 10% bill credit at the end of the month."

In conjunction with that, the company has an online tool called ‘"Direct Your Energy", that allows you to monitor all the energy usage in your home right down to the appliance level.

Mahaffey says, "It’ll take you whole electric bill… say it’s a hundred dollars for the month and it’ll start to break it out, 50-dollars went to the air conditioner…10-dollars for the lighting…. how much went the washer and the dryer, or maybe how much went to that refrigerator that you have in the garage, so now you’ll know where the usage in your home is so going, and be able to do something about it, maybe turn some back, up or down or maybe off."

And if you’re having difficulty paying your electric bill, or maybe you have a family member that need some assistance, CPL partners with the Nueces County Community Action Agency. It’s called the "Neighbor to Neighbor" program, and there’s assistance available through that. You can contact the agency for more information at: