South San Francisco, CA August 19, 2020 Submitted by California ISO
With the state’s heatwave dragging into its sixth day, the California Independent System Operator (ISO) is asking for the public’s help this afternoon by reducing energy use earlier than a typical Flex Alert.
A statewide Flex Alert, a call for voluntary electricity conservation, will be in effect from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. today. Consumer response to the Flex Alerts has been instrumental in averting power loss for two straight days.
With temperatures forecast above-normal again today, operators are expecting demand on the system to come in high, particularly in the mid-afternoon hours. California’s record-breaking persistent heatwave has put strain on the ISO electric system, primarily driven by air conditioning use across the state.
Rotating power outages are still possible if system conditions don’t improve. However, expected outages on Monday and Tuesday were prevented partly by consumers using less electricity in the most critical time of the afternoon and early evening, when temperatures remain high and solar production drops.
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 understands that conserving electricity is difficult, especially for those working from home or who have children attending school at home. But if all Californians are thoughtful about their energy use, even in small ways, power interruptions can be avoided or limited.
Between 2 p.m. and 9 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 2 p.m.:
- Pre-cool their homes, or lower air conditioning thermostats
- Pre-cook meals
- 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.