ERCOT -- the Electric Reliability Council of Texas -- says because of the unrelenting heat wave, the entire state is close to the crisis point in electricity usage, and people need to use less electricity.

They can do that by setting their air conditioners a few degrees higher during the hottest part of the day so they won't run constantly.  That will also reduce wear and tear on air conditioners and reduce the likelihood of a breakdown in the hottest weather Texas has had in years.

A statement from ERCOT says record-high temperatures throughout the state are expected to cause record demand for electricity between 3 and 7 p.m.

ERCOT expects statewide demand to exceed 67 megawatts, shattering Monday's all-time record of 66,867 megawatts.

ERCOT Vice President Kent Saathoff says the state is using so much electricity it's putting a strain on the statewide power grid and stringent emergency measures may have to be enforced if customers can't reduce their usage.

Those measures could include dropping large commercial and industrial electricity users under terms of their service contracts.  Rolling blackouts in high usage areas are also possible.

via Excessive heat prompts energy conservation appeal - The Lufkin Daily News: State.