FOLSOM, Calif. – The California Independent System Operator (ISO) has issued a statewide Flex Alert, a call for voluntary electricity conservation, for today, Aug. 31 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., due to high temperatures pushing up energy demand and tightening available power supplies.
DEVELOPING: California power grid officials warn of blackouts, urge residents to conserve energy.
“Set thermostats to 78 degrees or higher, avoid using large appliances and charging electric vehicles, and turn off unnecessary lights,” pic.twitter.com/hOn8kweyuD
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) August 31, 2022
With excessive heat in the forecast across much of the state and Western U.S., the grid operator is expecting high electricity demand, primarily from air conditioning use, and is calling for voluntary conservation steps to help balance supply and demand.
Additional Flex Alerts are also possible through the Labor Day weekend as recordsetting temperatures are forecast across much of the West. In what’s likely to be the most extensive heat wave so far in the West this year, temperatures in Northern California are expected to be 10-20 degrees warmer than normal through Tuesday, Sept. 6. In Southern California, temperatures are expected to be 10-18 degrees warmer than normal. Death Valley is currently forecast to peak at 126 degrees on Saturday, which would tie the highest temperature ever recorded on Earth in the month of September.
Today’s Flex Alert is scheduled between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m., when the grid is most stressed from higher demand and less solar energy. During that time, consumers are urged to conserve power by setting thermostats to 78 degrees or higher, if health permits, avoiding use of major applicances and turning off unnecessary lights. They should also avoid charging electric vehicles while the Flex Alert is in effect. To minimize discomfort and help with grid stability, consumers are also encouraged to pre-cool their homes and use major appliances and charge electric vehicles and electronic devices before 4 p.m., when conservation begins to become most critical.
Reducing energy use during a Flex Alert can help stabilize the power grid during tight supply conditions and prevent further emergency measures, including rotating power outages.