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Texas Heat Causes Power Grid Use To Reach All-Time High

The June heat wave resulted in historic demand for electricity
Photo: Rustically | Shutterstock

A heat wave is sweeping through North Texas. On Saturday at 2:41 p.m., the temperature at DFW International Airport reached 103 degrees. According to The Dallas Morning News, the last time the temperature hit 103 degrees on June 11 was over a hundred years ago – in 1911. 

Bloomberg reports that Texas power use was at an all-time high on Sunday, June 12. According to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the group that powers the grid, use hit 74.9 gigawatts at 4:50 p.m. that day. One gigawatt can power roughly 200,000 homes. 

Temperatures over 100 degrees are not uncommon during Texas summers. But this past Saturday was the first time since 2010 that North Texas has reached 100 degrees this early in June. As of writing, no end is in sight.

WFAA forecasts a high of 101 degrees today, one degree lower than the record hit in 1924. The rest of the week is forecasted in the high 90s, with Saturday forecasted with a high of 101 degrees and Sunday with a high of 100 degrees. Early next week will also see highs at 99 and 100 degrees. The heat wave – and demand for A/C power – will continue.

As Local Profile previously reported, electricity bills in Texas have jumped an average of 70%. In the past, cheap natural gas funded cheap electricity. But now, higher natural gas prices mean bigger electricity bills. The increase is resulting in the highest average rate since the state deregulated its electricity grid. “We’ve never seen prices this high,” Tim Morstad, associate state director for AARP Texas, said. “There’s going to be some real sticker shock here.”

The Texas electricity grid experienced outages during a February 2021 winter storm, leaving homes without power and resulting in over 240 deaths. 

In case you missed it, check out Local Profile's advice on watering your foundation and caring for plants during the summer heat.