Rolling Blackouts? There’s an app for that!

The Texas electric grid operator (ERCOT) has introduced an app for smartphones intended to alert Texas users about emergencies to the electric grid that could trigger rolling blackouts.  This alert system would urge consumers to conserve energy during those times.

In the midst of last summer’s record breaking heat, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas called on Texans to conserve when power generators weren’t able to keep up with extreme demand on several days. That conservation helped ERCOT avoid rolling outages. ERCOT has said it will probably have to call for conservation again this summer.  The new app will notify users of Apple and Android devices when the grid operator needs people to cut back usage to avoid blackouts.

iPhone, iPad and Android users can find the free ERCOT Energy Saver app by searching for ERCOT in the Apple and Google app stores, or you can link to the app below.

ERCOT will also use traditional methods of alerting the public about grid emergencies, but for the tech obsessed – this is a new option.  As for me, armed with my new smart thermostat, its smartphone app and the new ERCOT app, I stand ready to do my part.