Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is urging customers to conserve electricity in response to a statewide Flex Alert called by the California Independent System Operator (ISO), which manages the state's power grid.
In a news release, PG&E said the Flex Alert is scheduled for Friday between 3 p.m. and 10 p.m. A Flex Alert is an urgent call to immediately conserve electricity and shift power demand to off-peak hours to ease strain on the grid. The ISO issued the alert in response to forecasted high temperatures and a predicted increase in electric demand, primarily from residential air conditioning use.
Above-normal temperatures for California are expected to last through the weekend and into late next week. Prolonged heat over several consecutive days is expected to drive electricity demand higher, as nighttime temperatures are also forecast to be above average, the news release stated
PG&E is encouraging customers to reduce electricity use during the Flex Alert on Friday, especially during the afternoon and evening, when air conditioners are typically at peak use.
The company said customers should also follow these tips:
• Adjust your thermostat to 78 degrees or higher if health permits or turn it off if you will be away from home. Use a fan instead of air conditioning, when possible.
• Draw drapes and turn off unnecessary lighting.
• Unplug phone charges, power strips (those without a switch) and other equipment when not in use. Taken together, these small items can use as much power as your refrigerator. Avoid using electrical appliances and devices. Put off tasks such as vacuuming, laundry, dish washing and computer time until after 10 p.m.
• Set your pool pump to run overnight instead of during the day.
• These Flex Alert-related conservation efforts could reduce the risk of further emergency measures, including rotating power outages, PG&E stated.