State’s Grid Operator Calls ‘Flex Alert’ Today Between 3 p.m. and 10 p.m.
With hot temperatures forecast for today (Thursday, Oct. 1), the state’s grid operator has called for afternoon and evening energy conservation throughout California as one way to make sure that the supply of power stays ahead of demand.
The Flex Alert, called by the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), has been issued for today from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. With high temperatures in the forecast, the grid operator is predicting an increase in electricity demand, primarily from air conditioning use. Reduced capacity, along with fire activity and heat, has led to a potential shortage of energy supply this evening, CAISO says.
CAISO says wildfires are threatening transmission lines across the state, and in fact, generators that were taken offline several weeks ago due to wildfires have not returned to service. Smoke from wildfires is adding forecast uncertainty and has the potential to reduce solar power production as the weather pattern changes over the coming days, according to CAISO.
This statewide Flex Alert asks everyone to work together and conserve.
Saving Energy at Home
Here are five ways PG&E customers can cut their power use and help keep the lights (and air conditioning) on for everyone:
- Set your thermostat at 78 degrees or higher, health permitting: Every degree you lower the thermostat means your air conditioner must work even harder to keep your home cool.
- When it’s cooler outside, bring the cool air in: If the outside air is cool in the night or early morning, open windows and doors and use fans to cool your home.
- Close your shades: Sunlight passing through windows heats your home and makes your air conditioner work harder. Block this heat by keeping blinds or drapes closed on the sunny side of your home.
- Cool down with a fan: Fans keep air circulating, allowing you to raise the thermostat a few degrees and stay just as comfortable while reducing your air-conditioning costs.
- Clear the area around your AC: Your air conditioning unit will operate better if it has plenty of room to breathe. The air conditioner's outdoor unit, the condenser, needs to be able to circulate air without any interruption or obstruction. Also, dirty air filters make your air conditioner work harder to circulate air. By cleaning or replacing your filters monthly, you can improve energy efficiency and reduce costs.
Saving Energy at Your Office or Business