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Clean Air through Energy Reduction

It’s getting warmer outside and while we’re experiencing the effects of the heat, it’s important to stay informed and proactive for learning opportunities like Air Quality Awareness Week (AQAW). This week provides a great learning experience about the impacts of air quality on our health and region.

The heat also increases the chances of Ozone Action Days, so understanding how to take step to conserve energy not only avoids rolling blackouts but also contributes to better air quality.

Texas Grid Explained

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) manages the flow of electric power to Texas customers and is responsible for about 90 percent of the state’s electric load. Unlike other regions, Texas operates on its own grid.

During peak demand seasons, such as this summer, ERCOT issues alerts to ensure adequate power supply. These alerts typically advise actions like unplugging appliances and adjusting thermostat settings. For example, during hot weather, raising the thermostat can be effective in helping reduce the demand on the power grid. Reducing energy consumption also helps lower electricity bills!

Other energy-saving tips include:

·     Avoiding using large appliances such as washers and dryers

·     Commercial businesses turning off air conditioning outside of business hours

·     Setting pool pumps to run early morning or overnight and shutting off

during peak hours

By reducing energy consumption, we decrease the demand at power plants,

leading to lower emission output over time. Simple steps like air drying clothes and unplugging electronics when not in use can add up to significant energy savings.  For more tips on saving energy during high-demand periods, check out ERCOT’s resources.


Understanding Ozone Action Days 

Ozone Action Days are announced when the air quality index in the region is expected to reach unhealthy levels, as indicated by Air Now. Air North Texas issues alerts when Ozone Action Days are forecasted. To stay informed about air pollution alerts and forecasts, sign up for alerts through our website.

During this time, it’s vital to take additional measures to reduce air pollution. Consider opting for alternative methods such as carpooling or taking advantage of the low-cost public transportation methods in your area. Avoid excess idling of your car and refrain from using any gasoline powered garden equipment. These actions could help improve air quality and reduce air pollution in your region.


Air Quality Awareness Week 

Every year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hosts Air Quality Awareness Week (AQAW). This week provides an opportunity for people to learn about what causes poor air quality and how people can prepare for and respond to events and environments with poor air quality. This year's AQAW will be celebrated from May 6-10!

The topics for AQAW 2024 are:

·      Monday, May 6 - Wildland Fires and Smoke

·      Tuesday, May 7 - Asthma and Your Health

·      Wednesday, May 8 - Air Quality and Climate

·      Thursday, May 9 - Air Quality and Environmental Justice

·      Friday, May 10 - Air, Animals and Plants

Check out @NCTCOGtrans on Instagram, X, and Facebook to dive into these topics and find out what you can do to help improve the air quality in your region!


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