Reducing energy use could avert rolling power outages during heat wave
In an effort to prevent or limit power outages during this heat wave, the California Independent System Operator (ISO) issued a statewide Flex Alert, a call for voluntary electricity conservation, for today and extending through Wednesday. The Flex Alerts are in effect from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. each day.
California’s record-breaking persistent heat wave has put extraordinary strain on the ISO electric system, as air conditioners are working harder and longer to keep spaces cool during the high temperatures. Because of high heat and limited energy supplies, rotating power outages are likely over the next two days.
Consumers can take stress off the grid by lowering energy use during the most critical time of the day, 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., when temperatures remain high, and the sun is setting, removing thousands of megawatts of solar power from the system.
Conservation efforts during these times can prevent more dire measures, such as rotating power outages, or generator equipment failures that can lead to more serious unplanned losses of power.
The ISO recognizes that reducing energy use during the hot time of the day is a hardship, especially for those working from home or with children schooling at home. However, if a large number of consumers do their part in small ways, conservation can make a difference.
Between 3 p.m. and 10 p.m., the ISO is urging consumers to:
- Set air conditioning thermostats to 78 degrees, if health permits.
- Defer use of major appliances.
- Turn off unnecessary lights.
- Unplug unused electrical devices.
- Close blinds and drapes.
- Use fans when possible.
- Limit time the refrigerator door is open.
Consumers can also take steps to prepare for the Flex Alert by doing the following before 3 p.m.:
- “Pre-cool” their homes, or lower air conditioning thermostats.
- Charge electric vehicles.
- Charge mobile devices and laptops.
- Run dishwashers, washing machines and other major appliances.
- Set pool pumps to run in the morning or during the night.
For information on Flex Alerts, and to get more electricity conservation tips, visit the ISO’s Flex Alert website.
• Set thermostat at 78° or higher and turn off, if away
• Cool with fans and draw drapes
• Turn off unnecessary lights and appliances
• Use major appliances in morning or late evening
Learn more: http://www.flexalert.org (Available in Spanish and Vietnamese)
A Flex Alert is issued by the ISO when the electricity grid is under stress because of generation or transmission outages, or from persistent hot temperatures.
Consumers are urged to voluntarily conserve electricity to help avoid more serious steps to protect the power grid, including local rotating outages.
Click here to learn more about Flex Alerts and Stage Electrical Emergencies.