Texas energy use down nearly 3 percent in 2012

Texans used nearly 3 percent less electricity in 2012 than the previous year, Texas grid planners said Thursday.

Much of the decrease can be attributed to the blazing summer of 2011, when more than 60 days had temperatures exceeding 100 degrees, a record. The conditions led to a nearly 5 percent increase in energy use in 2011, with about 334,000 gigawatt-hours used.

Demand in Texas typically grows about 2 percent a year, driven by a growing population and economy, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. ERCOT oversees the grid for most of Texas.

Both the summer and winter were milder in 2012. Electricity use declined to 324,859 GWh, which was lower than in 2011 but nearly 3 percent higher than 2010.