The California Independent System Operator (Cal ISO) issued a statewide Flex Alert that began Sunday and was extended through Wednesday to urge residents to conserve energy as a heat wave continues to sweep across much of the state.
The Flex Alert, a call for voluntary electricity conservation, is in effect from 3 to 10 p.m. each day until Wednesday. Cal ISO said customers should prepare for rotating outages.
"A persistent, record-breaking heat wave in California and the western states is causing a strain on supplies, and consumers should be prepared for likely rolling outages during the late afternoons and early evenings through Wednesday,'' the agency said. "There is not a sufficient amount of energy to meet the high amounts of demand during the heat wave."
Cal ISO declared a Stage 3 Emergency due to high heat and increased electricity demand. The emergency initiates rotating outages throughout the state.
What is a Flex Alert?
A Flex Alert is a call for consumers to voluntarily conserve electricity when there is a predicted shortage of energy supply, especially if the grid operator needs to dip into reserves to cover demand. When consumers reduce electricity use at critical times, it can prevent more dire emergency measures, including possible power outages.
How can I prepare for a Flex Alert?
Residents can take the following steps to prepare for the Flex Alert by doing the following before 3 p.m.:
- “Pre-cool” their homes or lower air conditioning thermostats to 72 degrees.
- Charge electric vehicles.
- Charge mobile devices and laptops.
- Run dishwashers, washing machines and other major appliances.
- Set pool pumps to run in the early morning or late at night.
For information on Flex Alerts, and to get more electricity conservation tips, visit the ISO’s Flex Alert website.
What do I need to do during Flex Alert hours?
Residents are urged to lower energy use during the most critical time of the day, from 3 to 10 p.m., when temperatures remain high and solar production is falling due to the sun setting, according to Cal ISO.
Between 3 p.m. and 10 p.m., the ISO is urging consumers to:
- Set air conditioning thermostats to 78 degrees, if health permits.
- Defer use of major appliances.
- Turn off unnecessary lights.
- Unplug unused electrical devices.
- Close blinds and drapes.
- Use fans when possible.
- Limit time the refrigerator is open
How will I know if I will be affected by a rotating outage?
Customers can see whether they may be affected by checking their SDG&E bill, on the app, or via sdge.com/myaccount. Circuit numbers and curtailment block numbers are listed in the electric service section of their bill.
You can check your block and circuit numbers with the list of the affected blocks and circuits posted, here.
What can I do to prepare for an outage?
Below, you’ll find a few tips to get you through a power outage.
- Update your contact information with your local energy company.
- Have a back-up charging method for your phone and other devices.
- Keep hard copies of emergency numbers and other important information.
- Stock your emergency kit with flashlights, batteries, cash and first-aid supplies.
- Do you know how to manually open your garage door? Try it out.
- Save operation of power-heavy appliances, such as dishwashers, washing machines and dryers, for early-morning and late-evening hours.
- Limit the opening and reopening of refrigerators.