Interim CEO Message – July 2022

Summer is officially here

Theresa Quiroz headshotHappy 4th of July Co-op members! On behalf of Rio Grande Electric, I hope you have a great Independence Day celebrating with your friends and family. We join with you to thank all of the men and women who have served our country, so that we may enjoy our freedom and independence.

Summer is officially here, and the heat wave is showing no signs of letting up. By mid-June, a new energy usage all-time record was set not once, but twice, in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) grid. Sunday, June 12 a peak of 75,022 megawatts (MW) was set, but that record will probably have been broken by the time you read this.

Typically, most households use larger amounts of electricity in the evenings when returning from work, cooking dinner, washing clothes, and watching television. These are referred to as “peak” hours. The cost for Rio Grande Electric Cooperative (RGEC) to provide power is higher during these times because of the additional demand for electricity. Rio Grande’s peak rate is in effect only on weekdays, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. (Central), May-September, excluding holidays. Conserving daily during these hours will help reduce the potential strain on the electric grid, and save money on your electric bill. Here are a few easy ways you can shift energy use to off-peak hours:

  • Adjust your thermostat – During summer months, raise the thermostat a few degrees during peak hours
  • Wash full loads of clothes in cold water during off-peak hours
  • Run the dishwasher right before you go to bed, or air-dry dishes by opening the dishwasher instead of using the heated dry cycle
  • Turn off lights and electronics when not in use (Try to make this a daily habit, whether during peak or off-peak hours.)

I’d like to say cooler days are in the near future, but unfortunately, that is not the case. We will continue to keep you up-to-date on current weather and grid conditions on the Co-op’s social media pages, and please remember to practice heat safety - find shade, stay hydrated, check up on each other (especially the elderly), and look around inside before you lock your car.

Lastly, I would like to send our deepest condolences to the Uvalde community after the Robb Elementary school shooting, May 24. Our thoughts and prayers are with the students, families, emergency response personnel, and all those affected by this tragic event.

Freedom brings along responsibility and today, we must all take part to fulfill this responsibility with genuine efforts and peace in our hearts. I hope you enjoy your Independence Day, and may God Bless America!

RGEC offices will be closed Monday, July 4

In case of an emergency, dispatch can be reached 24/7 by calling (800) 749-1509.

Theresa Quiroz