Wind SolarElectricity use within Texas increased during 2015, driven largely by an unusually hot summer. That’s according to ERCOT, which also reports new records in peak electricity demand during 2015.

ERCOT, or the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, oversees the power grid serving about 85 percent of the state. According to the organization, Texas businesses and homes used 2.2 percent more power in 2015 than they did during 2014. That’s 347,522,948 megawatt-hours in 2015, as compared to 340,033,353 MW during 2014.

The warm summer — the hottest since the record-breaking summer of 2011 — contributed to the increase, according to ERCOT. “By summer’s end, the system had new records for monthly energy use, July peak demand, weekend peak demand and all-time peak demand,” according to a press release from the organization.

Five all-time peak demand records also were set during 2015. According to the grid operator, those records were 69,877 MW on Aug. 10, 69,775 MW on Aug. 11, 68,979 MW on Aug. 6, 68,731 MW on Aug. 7 and 68,683 MW on Aug 5.

ERCOT also has reported a number or new records from 2015 that relate to wind power. You can find out more about those records here.

A megawatt is roughly enough electricity to power 200 homes during a hot summer day.

— R.A. Dyer

What is the Texas Coalition for Affordable Power?

R.A. Dyer is a policy analyst for TCAP, a coalition of more than 160 cities and other political subdivisions that purchase electricity in the deregulated market for their own governmental use. Because high energy costs can impact municipal budgets and the ability to fund essential services, TCAP, as part of its mission, actively promotes affordable energy policies. High energy prices also place a burden on local businesses and home consumers.

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