Flex Alert: Californians asked to conserve energy again Saturday

California

The California Independent System Operator is asking residents to conserve energy Friday and Saturday with concerns over extreme temperatures and a shortfall on the state’s electrical grid.

The statewide Flex Alert goes into effect from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, according to Cal-ISO, which manages the state’s power grid. It will be in effect during the same hours on Saturday.

On Friday, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an emergency proclamation to free up additional energy capacity amid a major heat wave and the Bootleg Fire in Southern-Central Oregon, which is currently threatening a regional transmission system and impacting California’s power supply.

State officials say the proclamation suspends certain permitting requirements, allowing the use of back-up power generation and freeing up additional energy capacity to help alleviate the heat-induced demands on the state’s energy grid.

Residents are being asked to keep thermostats at 78 degrees or higher, to turn off unnecessary lights and avoid using major appliances in the time when the Flex Alert is in effect, Cal-ISO said. In previous Flex Alerts called in June and during last summer’s heat wave, the agency said consumers “collectively made a significant reduction in their energy use.”

“That allowed grid operators to avoid or limit possible rotating power outages that can become necessary when demand for electricity outstrips capacity,” Cal-ISO said in a news release.

Ahead of the alert, residents are encouraged to take several steps to manage energy use. They include:

  • Using major appliances earlier in the day;
  • Pre-cooling homes by lowering thermostats;
  • Closing window coverings to preserve cooler indoor temperatures; and
  • Using solar power to charge devices when available.

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