Flexible Statewide Alert for Voluntary Energy Conservation in Effect for 3rd Consecutive Day

Sun on hot day
Photo courtesy of the National Weather Service

As a heat wave continues to grip Southern California and increase the use of air conditioners, a Flex Alert calling for voluntary energy conservation to reduce the strain on the power grid in the State will be in effect for a third consecutive day on Friday.

California’s Independent System Operator – which runs the state’s electric grid – issued the first Flex Alert of the week on Wednesday, urging residents to reduce electricity use from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. The alert worked and the state avoided any unintended power outages.

Another Flex alert took effect at 4 p.m. Thursday, again continuing until 9 p.m. And with the forecast still calling for high heat, Cal-ISO has issued another Flex Alert for Friday at the same times.

Electricity demand on Thursday hit 47,357 megawatts, the highest figure since September 2017, according to Cal-ISO. 49,000 megawatts.

“ISO is working with state agencies and market participants to bring all available energy resources online for what are expected to be the most challenging days of the heat wave,” according to Cal-ISO.

Cal-ISO warned that more flex alerts will likely be issued for the duration of the heat wave, which is expected to persist at least through Tuesday, possibly longer in some areas.

During alerts, residents are encouraged to take energy-saving measures such as:

  • set thermostats to 78 degrees or higher
  • avoid the use of major household appliances
  • turn off unnecessary lights
  • avoid charging electric vehicles

Residents are also advised to pre-cool their homes as much as possible and close blinds and curtains to keep interiors cool.

A Flex Alert is the lowest level notification issued by Cal-ISO, but if voluntary conservation fails to reduce the strain on the power grid, the agency could transition to a series of emergency alerts that could ultimately lead to power outages.

City News Service contributed to this article.

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