Officials say San Marcos is experiencing typical summer weather patterns, although triple-digit temperatures last month led to record-high energy usage.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas saw temperatures on June 25 and 26 lead to record breaking electricity demand. Tom Taggart, director of public services, said the city was using peak levels of energy at about 106 megawatts in June during the day compared to all time peaks of about 121.9 megawatts.
Taggart said this amount of energy usage is not uncommon during the hottest days of summer due to heavier electric demands associated with heating and cooling. It typically takes a string of 100-degree days before energy peaks begin to mount higher than historical levels, he said.
Robbie Searcy, the reliability council’s spokeswoman, said they oversee the grid that serves about 75 percent of the state geographically and about 85 percent of the electricity used in Texas.
Sheri Lara, director of utilities operation for Texas State, said facilities follow predictions set by the reliability council in order to better gauge daily energy usage. The demand varies each day.
The City of San Marcos Electric Utility provides energy for the Texas State campus to run electricity from the Hilltop and Strahan substations. The electricity is then distributed to the different buildings throughout campus.
Lara said Texas State uses up to about 16 megawatts of energy during peak demands for the campus.
Searcy said the reliability council’s most challenging periods to manage during the day are between the hours of 3 and 7 p.m. — when temperatures are highest.
Taggart said there are ways people can help cut electrical energy demand, such as turning their thermostats a few degrees higher and using large appliances during off-peak hours.
Taggart said moving usage of large appliances to off-peak hours reduces energy demand, which will help make sure the city has adequate power supplies.
The university is currently formulating a triple energy management plan that will focus on the electrical plants, buildings and personal knowledge.
“When we look at our energy use and our water use, it falls into thirds,” Lara said. “It is all of our jobs to help manage that pie because the demand in the buildings is what we serve from the plants, and people create the demand, so it is all interconnected.”
Lara said conserving and using energy and water has to be a collective effort by all people at Texas State.
The reliability council also has a mobile application available for Android and iOS devices that allows people to see what is going on with the grid and how to cut personal demand.