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01/17/2014

ERCOT: Electricity use up 2.1 percent in 2013

The state's biggest power grid said electricity use was up 2.1 percent last year compared to 2012, as coal-fired capacity rebounded. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which carries about 85 percent of the state's electricity demand, said power plants that burn coal provided 37.2 percent of that electricity, up from 33.8 percent in 2012, a year that saw particularly low natural gas prices. Natural  gas-fired units provided 40.5 percent of the power in 2013, down from 44.6 in 2012. Wind power set another new high in 2013, providing 9.9 percent of total electricity consumed, up from 9.2 percent in 2012 and just 4.9 percent in 2008.

ERCOT said total demand was 324,859,701 megawatt-hours for all of 2013. A typical Texas residence uses about 1,500 kilowatt-hours a month, or about 18 megawatt-hours a year. Summer demand peaked at 67,245 megawatts, up 1 percent from 2012 but below the record peak of 68,305 megawatts in 2011. A megawatt is about enough to power 200 Texas homes during a period of high demand, typically a hot summer day when air conditioners work hard.

-- Jim Fuquay

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