Midlanders Finding Ways to Save Energy

Nick Lawton
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - The Electric Reliability Council of Texas and ONCOR seemingly give out new power warnings every week. But with the power strain on their electricity grid, they said they're forced to.

So much energy is spent every day powering air conditioners and other appliances to keep us cool.

Now we're entering the period of power warnings.

"The surge margin was getting lower than the recommended levels, and when that happens, they go into a power warning," ONCOR Area Manager Sue Mercer, said. "They'll do a watch and a warning and then go to a level 2a-2b where they drop interrupter loads, and they went to that particular level on Wednesday."

Just on Wednesday the Basin went from a level 2 power warning back down to one.

If it went any higher to level 3, it could cause rolling power outages.

Energy providers are now calling on the people to conserve energy during peak hours of 3 to 7 p.m. in the afternoon and evening.

"Closing blinds to prevent heat build-up in the home, maybe raise the air conditioner a couple of degrees, turn on ceiling fans if that helps to make you feel cooler," Mercer said. "Turning off lights that aren't being used, unplugging chargers, anything that folks can do to conserve."

Some Midlanders are conserving starting with their lights and air conditioners.

"We're making sure that everything in the house is turned off if it's not being used at the time," Midland resident, Chuck Hedges, said. "When we leave in the morning, we turn the thermostat up to 79 or 80. Clothes dryer, dishwasher, we're trying to run in the evening."

Other Midlanders are using their cell phones to control when their air conditioners come on to make sure they're never left on all day.

"We went to a new security company," Midland resident, Chris Garcia, said. "We're able to turn off our A/C, or we can control our A/C with our cell phones. About an hour before we come home, we can get on the cell phone and we can adjust our temperature where we want it to when we get home and start at a comfortable temperature."

If it's water or if it's energy, many West Texans are doing their part to make sure there's always enough to go around.