Like your dad telling you how much he loves Yellowstone, Texas summer is being 100 percent on-brand this year. It’s July, and it’s hot. We knew this would happen, because it has been hot in Texas every summer that Texas has had a summer. It’s our thing.
It’s a proven science fact that Texas has eight seasons: Fall, Winter, Spring, Pre-Summer, Summer, Unrelenting Terror, Hades’ Balls and Fake Fall. As every meteorologist will tell you, July 1 marks the first day of Unrelenting Terror season. We all know the worst is yet to come.
The forecast shows that stepping outdoors this week is going to be a serrano to the eyeballs once again, with no respite in sight. Looks like we’re a 10,000 on the Scoville scale today (closer to Carolina Reaper if you’re putting your hand on the sidewalk).
With all this totally predictable weather showing up, ERCOT is once again concerned. Because somehow, they didn’t see this coming?
It’s one thing to be unprepared when Texas winter hits negative fourteen degrees. But Texas being this hot in summertime is just Texas wearing its signature outfit.
ERCOT recently called for “voluntary conservation” because excessive heat could cause an energy emergency as we all panic-cool our homes. They’d love it if you set your A/C to 78 degrees or higher and turn your ceiling fan up to 11 (assuming you have one and your interior designer didn’t remove every ceiling fan in your home in the early 2000s during the Trading Spaces era).
If this is an energy emergency, we need everyone to comply. But only a small percentage of people are going to follow these voluntary guidelines. You want full cooperation? We’re going to need to gamify this situation: We want points for every megawatt of energy we save the grid.
Every hour we set our thermostats above 75 degrees, we get one E-Buck, and when DFW reaches 1000 E-Bucks, Mayor Eric Johnson pays for everyone’s lunch at Nick & Sam’s. Every time DFW reduces its strain on the grid by 1 megawatt, someone in leadership at ERCOT gets dunked in a wasabi-filled dunk tank. Hit 10 megawatts saved, and Matthew McConaughey will play the forehead bongos on Greg Abbott’s forehead. It’ll be great fun. #1 Victory Royale.
Currently, ERCOT’s big idea is that they’re asking me to turn off the lights and close the blinds while I don’t do laundry all day—I’m telling you here and now, that’s not going to save any of us any energy because that’s the dang standard I’ve already set. You’re doing your grid math wrong if you think Tide Ultra Stain Release and I have been dedicated to making my whites whiter at 2 p.m. every day with the windows open.
We need some new ideas. You start giving us rewards for conservation beyond “YAY! Nothing collapsed!” and the grid will never have a problem ever again.