Excessive heat and high energy demand could still lead to more outages in the next few days
Rotating outages were averted in San Diego and southern Orange counties today, in part thanks to local residents and businesses heeding the call to cut back on energy usage amid a prolonged heat wave and exceptionally high energy demand.
CAISO, which manages high-voltage power transmission, had warned SDG&E and other utilities it was very likely that they would be ordered to implement rotating outages today, if customer conservation and other efforts fail to reduce energy demand.
The heat wave, forecasted to continue through Thursday, has driven energy demand to exceptional levels, placing significant strain on the power grid. It’s still possible that widespread rotating outages could occur throughout the state in the next few days, if CAISO isn’t able to maintain balance between energy demand and supply.
SDG&E was poised to begin rotating outages to more than 100,000 customers this afternoon based on earlier forecasts by CAISO that grid conditions were extremely challenging. Conditions improved steadily throughout the day.
In support of CAISO’s urgent calls for conservation, SDG&E began an aggressive campaign via email, text messages, automated phone calls, its website (sdge.com) and local news outlets to urge customers to conserve. The company has also appealed directly to major energy users to reduce energy consumption. In addition, SDG&E activated its demand response programs, such as AC Savers, whereby participants receive an incentive in exchange for allowing SDG&E to turn up their thermostat during peak demand hours.
For ongoing updates, follow SDG&E on Twitter (@SDGE) or visit sdgenews.com.
Energy Conservation Urgently Needed
Energy conservation remains essential to help avoid the need for rotating outages, as well as the duration of outages and the number of customers affected. Everyone is urged to do their part to cut back on energy use during this critical time.
Health and safety permitting, here are some actions to take to save energy:
Set your air conditioner thermostat a few degrees higher (ideally at 78 degrees or higher) and pre-cool your home before 4 p.m. If possible, turn off the AC during a power emergency
Use large appliances, such as dishwashers, clothes washers, and dryers before 4 p.m. or after 9 p.m.
Reduce or defer the use of pool pumps
Keep the doors of your refrigerator and freezer closed
Switch off all unnecessary lighting (for businesses, turn off advertising signs and display/flood/decorative lighting)
Defer or reduce all non-essential use of commercial and industrial equipment, such as boilers, exhaust fans, reproduction equipment, maintenance and repair equipment, dispensing machines, intercoms, cleaning equipment, circulating pumps and electric chargers.