Here in Texas, we’re no strangers to the summer heat. But if you thought June seemed like more of a scorcher than usual, you are correct. Regions across Texas, including Austin and San Antonio, experienced record high temperatures. Houston had its hottest June ever, with daily high temperatures hitting 92 degrees. And it’s not just Texas. Heatwaves are happening all over the country.
It raises the obvious question — what’s causing these volcano-like conditions? And what concerns should we have with these hot weather events? Do they stress the power grid in the same way as cold weather? That’s what we’ll look at here – what’s causing this, and what you need to know to stay safe.
Why Is It So Hot?
So the big question is what’s causing it to be so hot? There are a number of factors influencing the weather. But first, know that these extreme temperatures aren’t unusual anymore. Temperatures have been trending upward for years.
As you might expect, climate change and global warming are laying the groundwork for continually rising baseline temperatures — something that’s been happening for decades. As the planet gets warmer, extreme summers will happen more frequently.
We’re also in the middle of a drought. June is typically the rainiest time of the year for much of Texas, and that precipitation means lots of cloudy days. That hasn’t been the case; the sunny, dry weather combined with the lack of rain continues to perpetuate high temperatures.
Do We Need to Be Concerned About Hot Days?
There’s no question that hot weather can be uncomfortable, but when it gets scorching, it can even be dangerous. The National Weather Service has issued a number of heat advisory warnings, advising people everywhere to stay cool, hydrated, and indoors when possible.
Do High Temperatures Affect Electricity Service?
We’ve seen how cold temperatures can affect the power grid. Naturally, many people wonder if high temperatures pose the same risks. High temperatures increase the electricity demand. When demand exceeds supply, service can be interrupted. Fortunately, even though the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) recently reported a record demand of over 75,000 megawatts (one megawatt can power 200 Texas homes per day) one Sunday evening, no blackouts are expected.
Do High Temperatures Affect Electricity Bills?
The other question on many people’s minds is how these hot days affect their electricity bill. High temperatures can, of course, increase the amount you pay each month. Weather is the leading cause of energy bill fluctuations, and up to 60% of your energy usage is comprised of heating and cooling. When your HVAC unit has to work harder, your energy bill goes up. In Texas, consumers regularly pay 50% to 70% more for electricity than they do in cooler months.
Pay Less for Electricity With Energy Texas
You can’t change the weather. But what you can do, thanks to deregulation in Texas, is exercise your power to choose who you purchase electricity from. If you want 100% renewable electricity at a fair, fixed rate, check out our plans in your area and stay cool by switching to Energy Texas.