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JOHNSON CITY — The Pedernales Electric Cooperative is urging Highland Lakes residents to voluntarily conserve energy to avoid rolling blackouts.
More strain on resources could lead to energy losses, officials warned.

The call to conserve power and reduce costs follows an emergency alert by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas after reserve power dipped below 2,300 megawatts earlier this week.
“We always urge our members to conserve electricity,” said Anne Harvey, PEC spokeswoman. “It will help keep their bills down.”
PEC serves more than 200,000 members across Central Texas, including the Highland Lakes.
ERCOT controls the electrical output to PEC members and many other utilities in the state.
ERCOT lifted the alert June 28, Harvey said.
Even so, voluntary reduction of electric use will help avoid power interruptions, Harvey said.
“Conservation is always a good thing,” she added.
However, if future power shortages occur, ERCOT could resort to deliberate, intermittent power outages known as “rolling blackouts,” officials said.
To help conserve electricity, PEC officials recommend members take the following steps:
• Set water heater thermostats no higher than 120 degrees.
• Set air conditioning thermostats to 78 degrees or higher. 
• Wash clothes and dishes in cold water during nighttime.
• Turn off all unnecessary lighting.
Visit www.pec.coop for more power conservation tips.
Members who experience power outages can call PEC at 1-(888) 883-3379 from a landline phone.

raymond@thepicayune.com