My, DFW’s Power Demands May Set Record

Last night about 10 o’clock, there was a huge explosion in my Woodrow-area neighborhood. Bam, the lights go out for blocks. My neighbors and I wandered outside and wondered what happened. “You think it was lightening?”” one asked. “Probably a transformer blew,” I said. Just then, the night sky lit up with sparks, and a horrible cracking sound blasted through our ears. (Sounded just like this: KABOOMAPOWBAMOT’PAU!) There went a second transformer. We gathered on the corner with candles and red wine, watching the firetrucks roll through the neighborhood. Within an hour, the power was back on.

I tell you this to prepare you for similar instances today, as the area’s power demands are expected to exceed 65,669 megawatts. Think about THAT for a moment. Yeah. I know.

Meanwhile, I’m to go to lunch in air-conditioned comfort with Christine Allison, the President of D Magazine Partners Empire. A sneak preview of MY power demands: complete authority over all parking decisions, a “computer” at my desk, and my own personal coffee wench.


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17 responses to “My, DFW’s Power Demands May Set Record”

  1. Tim says:

    Amazing how the power companies claim usage is up. How do we audit them? How can we make sure they are not gouging us?

    I got my electric bill Friday from one Cirro Energy. My bills last year reached $500, and I wasn’t going to allow that again. So, this year we stopped using the coke machine we keep on the patio, we weather stripped all the doors, we turned the thermostat up by nearly 10 degrees, and I started shutting down the computer in the home office when I am not using it. We do less laundry than a year ago, and we replaced an old swimming pool pump with a new, more “energy-efficient” model.

    The result? Cirro claims I have used 120% of the electricity I used in the same time frame last year. That obviously warranted a larger bill that surpassed the highest one from previous years.

    Simply amazing how I can reduce my electricity consumption in every way I know possible, yet the amount I use can go up.

  2. drew says:

    Not sure if this might have been a factor in the outage, but there were some wicked winds that blew through around that same time last night. My lights were flickering for the rest of the evening.

  3. Nate says:

    Hey, that’s still not enough power to send Marty and Doc Brown back to the future.

  4. Daniel says:

    Yes, I live a couple miles from Woodrow and at about 10, there was a very sudden, mighty wind a-blowin’ that caused an old-fashioned dust storm and made me perplexed/fearful/exhilarated for all of a quarter-hour — then it went back to from where it came. My electricity flickered for about another quarter-hour, wanting to buckle its load, but it pulled through quite admirably.

  5. Zac Crain says:

    Yes, what was with the crazy dust storm last night? I was driving down Central around 9:30 or so, near Park, and with all the construction in the area, it looked like West Texas.

  6. Don says:


    I have to ask the simple question. Have you checked your meter?

    You could also have an electrician (or if you know what you are doing) take a reading on how much juice your pulling, and do the math to see what you think the bill should be.

  7. Tim says:

    Yeah, that’s what I thought. I guess I will pay an electrician to make sure I’m not paying too much money to the electric company. Kind of defeats the purpose (trying to save money this year).

  8. Hillbilly Beau Monde says:

    Southwest Arlington had a couple of power-burps last night, too, and I’ve been busy offering up prayers for my friendly power grid ever since, seeing how it’s gonna be Satan’s breadbasket out there for the next few days. California-style brown-outs we can do without!

  9. nmlhats says:

    A transformer blew near our house on Friday afternoon around 5pm–in your old Stonewall-area ‘hood, Eric. Fortunately we were away for the weekend so were sleeping in air-conditioned comfort elsewhere. Power was back on by early Saturday morning, according to our pet-sitter. Our cats were apparently lethargic in the heat.

    As for the amount of electricity we are all using, TXU shows on its bills not only the amount you used this year and last, but also the average high temperature during the same billing period for this year and last year. We have used slightly more power this year even with the thermostat a little higher.

    Why? How? It’s because last summer was unusually “COOL”. The average high for last year’s billing period on our late July bill was 89 degrees. This year the average high during the billing period was 100! The same was true for last month’s bill-the average high for my billing period to late June 2008 were about 10 degrees higher than 2007.

    Our little house is about 80 and my home office is in the hottest part of the house, meaning mid-80-s on a bad day. I keep a thermometer in here for kicks and when it’s 103 or so outside, it can be 86-87 in this room. Ceiling fans in every room help take the edge off.

    Thank goodness my boss (me) lets me wear shorts and t-shirts to work. I can’t afford both dry cleaning and electric power.

  10. monkey god says:

    Their gouging us. The state of Oklahome pays half what we do in DFW. Our electricity is based on the price of natural gas. Natural gas and the price of eletricity that is sold to power companies has decreased by alot but we’re still paying high prices. Compare your kwh to the price sold to electric companies. I use as my source. Bring back electric regulation.

  11. Puddin'Tane says:

    The Other Marty Cortland just gets richer…but none the less delusional.


  12. Tobie B says:

    if this had happened in my hood out in the boonies of the “county” we would’ve been drinkin beer and iced tea from mason jars…my what a difference an addy makes!!!

  13. Tobie B says:

    Tim, I changed out my antique thermostat for a new fangled digital one, leveled the house, put in weather stripping, got new Pella windows, moved all my “mass outlet” using electronics to power strips that I turn off and unplug when not in use, only used lights when I absolutely had to after dark (other times, I’d use my trusty dusty maglite), only did laundry once a week (tall order as I’m a very sweaty runner)NEVER opened my blinds, kept the curtains over the blinds closed, put my fancy new thermostat on 78 as opposed to my accustomed 72, changed all my filters, vacuumed all my vents AND the vent thingee of my fridge…and my bill was $125 more than it was this time last year.

    Which goes to show you, being energy concious DOESN’T PAY!

  14. dallasboiler says:

    Tim, as nmlhats mentioned the hot weather probably explains why your bill jumped so much for two reasons. One, as nmlhats implied, the 10 degree higher temperature outdoors means that you’ll be running the A/C unit a lot more which is probably more than offsetting your efficiency gains.

    Two, your power price ($/mwh) is probably higher this year versus last. On very hot days, most of our power comes from expensive natural gas plants which may drive up your rate depending on what type of plan you’re on. During cooler times, we can get most of our power from much cheaper wind, coal, and nuclear sources … which generally means that your rate might be a little lower then.

    You’ve done the right thing by taking the efficiency steps that you mentioned. I’m betting that the steps that you’ve taken have still saved you a lot of money … just imagine how high your bill would’ve been without all of the improvements that you mentioned!

  15. WWWildcat says:

    Dreher discusses our ‘brown-out’ in the Kunstler-funk Book Club Blog:

  16. LakeWWWooder says:

    Neither lightning nor ‘lightening’ struck Woodrow, as its chimney was hit before in 1960 (peeled off the bricks – we like to call it a ‘divine infusion’).

    However the culprits could be my neighbors blasting Dean Martin:

    “I, I love Vegas every moment,
    When I leave I shed a tear.
    Oh I, I love Vegas,
    Jesus Christ do I love Vegas..”

    There was wine flowing on Worth Street, too -we know how to have a good time in this part of town.

  17. the cynic says:

    if anyone had watched the Rangers game on TV last night they would have seen the freak wind storm that had hot dog wrappers swirling like a Tasmanian devil in the outfield. They had groundkeepers chasing trash in between innings (and pitcher changes). And your Tx Rangers prevailed and put a W (presumably for WHUPPED) in the post All-Star game column. You gotta admire these guys that play the game in 150-degree heat.