Greenville residents and businesses appear to be saving electricity, even during the current heat wave.
With temperatures nudging the 100-degree mark each day this week, the Energy Reliability Council Of Texas, ERCOT, which regulates the state’s electrical grid, issued an alert Tuesday afternoon, warning of all-time high records of electricity usage statewide and asking for voluntary reductions to avoid shortages.
But GEUS Consumer Services Manager Jimmy Dickey said the local electric utility system hasn’t been setting any records this summer.
“We hit 112 megawatts Monday,” Dickey said. “That’s been our high so far this year, which was also recorded Aug. 7.”
The numbers are nowhere close to the utility’s record of 121 megawatts set in 2011. The previous record of 118 megawatts was set in 2010 and reached 115 megawatts in 2016.
Majors Field, the City of Greenville Municipal Airport, recorded a high temperature of 100 degrees Tuesday, with a heat index value — what it feels like when the humidity is factored in — of up to 106 degrees.
Monday was the hottest day of the summer so far, with a high of 102 degrees.
Hunt County and North Texas are due for a brief break in the heat and corresponding drought conditions.
With the expected arrival overnight of showers and thunderstorms, as of Tuesday evening the National Weather Service forecast was calling for a high near 95 today, although the heat index values could still be as high as 104.
Meanwhile the county remained under increasing levels of drought.
The Keetch-Byram Drought Index measures soil moisture. A reading of 800 is the highest on the scale, meaning that it would take eight or more inches of rainfall to bring the soil to saturation.
As of Tuesday, Hunt County’s readings under the index ranged from 533 to 650, with an average across the county of 616.
The county has not been under a ban on outdoor burning since Aug. 14, 2018 and the Hunt County Office of Homeland Security/Fire Marshal has not issued any warnings that a burn ban is imminent.
But fire officials continue to ask anyone intending to conduct a controlled burn to use extreme caution.