13.06.26-Power-Cover-S_optA new app could help make Texas’ energy grid more effective.

In our August issue — the power issue, as it became known internally — we explained Texas’ electric grid, ERCOT.

As we mentioned in the story, “The 48 contiguous states have only three electric grids — East, West and Texas.” This week, ERCOT announced its new free smart phone app that will give users real-time updates on the ERCOT grid—and tips on how to effectively “conserve electricity during peak times”

When ERCOT is experiencing high demand and conservation is critical, users who enable the feature will receive alerts notifying them of the situation, a press release notes.

A concerted effort by energy consumers to conserve can help prevent power blackouts, as we noted in the August issue. The app will make information about potential blackouts more available and will remind us when and how to conserve, ERCOT reps say.

“ERCOT is committed to using every avenue available to communicate with consumers about the need for conservation during the hours of 3-7 p.m.” says ERCOT External Affairs Director Theresa Gage. “Texans who conserved during the summer of 2011 were vital to keeping the electric grid strong. We hope people in the ERCOT region will adopt this new energy conservation tool during summer 2012.”

iPhone and Android users can find the free ERCOT Energy Saver app by searching for ERCOT in the Apple and Google app stores. Over time, additional features may become available,” the press release notes, “depending on system needs and user feedback.”