California Residents Urged To Conserve Electricity
With a heat wave gripping parts of Southern California and power demand on the rise, the manager of the state's energy grid has issued a "flex alert," urging residents to conserve electricity between 2 and 9 p.m. to reduce strain on the system.
The alert went into effect Tuesday and was to remain in effect Wednesday, according to the California Independent System Operator.
"Consumers are urged to reduce their energy use during the late afternoon when air conditioners drive consumption to the highest point of the day," according to the alert.
According to Cal-ISO, a flex alert is issued when the state's power grid is under stress due to elevated demand or transmission system outages. The alerts call for voluntary conservation so the state will not have to dip into energy reserves.
Cal-ISO predicted peak energy demand for the day to hit 44,700 megawatts around 6 p.m.
Cal-ISO spokesman Oscar Hidalgo said conservation allows the organization that manages the grid to provide power where it is needed most.
"Even though the temperature may not be as high in San Diego as it is for instance in Red Bluff, we still need to conserve so we can manage and move resources where its needed most," Hidalgo said.
The call for conservation came about a week after state and local officials predicted they would have plenty of power for the summer.
"I think this shows how quickly things can change. I mean we're seeing temperatures in triple digits in many parts of California and not only that, we're seeing some as high as 112 or 114 degrees in some areas," Hidalgo said.
The agency offered a series of tips for conserving energy:
— Set thermostats at 78 degrees or higher and turn air conditioners off when away.
— Switch off lights when leaving a room.
— Avoid using appliances during peak hours, particularly from 4 to 6 p.m.
— Reset pool pumps to run during off-peak hours.
— Turn off computer monitors at work while away from the desk, and switch off lights and coffee makers.