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New ERCOT CEO working to rebuild Texans' trust after record-breaking summer

A new October demand record was also set just this Wednesday.

AUSTIN, Texas — Some Austin Energy customers told us back in July that their bills were higher because they blasted the AC to beat the extreme heat.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, leaders from the state power grid said they had a successful summer. The head of the Public Utility Commission (PUC) said the power grid is more reliable than ever.

In 2022, Texans experienced a summer with several days of record demand for energy, including setting a new record just this Wednesday for the month of October, but the PUC said the grid held up to the challenges and ERCOT never entered emergency conditions.

The new CEO of ERCOT, Pablo Vegas, knows Texans are cautious to trust the grid after the 2021 winter storm and he is working to regain that trust.

“We continue to be tested. We continue to pass those tests, and that's how we build the trust and the faith in the reliability in the electric grid,” said Vegas.

Vegas said ERCOT is continuing to follow through with weatherization plans at plants. It is also carefully scheduling outages for repairs so there is still reliable generation.

"The changes that have been made make the grid more reliable. And by continuing to execute and meet the demands and the tests that are coming our way, that will build a confidence in everyday Texans that their grid is and will continue to be reliable," added Vegas.

PUC Chairman Peter Lake joined Vegas in a meeting Thursday, where they said they're continuing to work on things like weatherization and improved maintenance scheduling.

"Unlike in the past, when generators just picked whatever day or week they wanted to be out, and you could have days where there was a huge amount of generators out, and we now can spread those outages over a longer period of time. So there's no single day or single week where we have an unusually high number of outages," said Lake.


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